Rum Creek Fire Crews Seeing Success in Hard Work

Since Wednesday, containment of the Rum Creek Fire has grown from 1 percent to 27 percent, largely due to successful tactical firing operations and direct line construction. 

On the southwest flank of the fire, crews are mopping up a 50-foot buffer between recently burned control lines. Tactical patrols are expanding mop-up from 200 to 300 feet around the community of Galice after two spot fires were extinguished Friday. 

Mop-up is the process of extinguishing or removing burning material near control lines, felling snags, and trenching logs to prevent them from rolling after an area has burned. The 60 to 80 degree slopes in the river canyon and nearby drainages make trenching a key part of preventing logs and rocks from rolling free of unstable soils. 

Clearer skies this afternoon allowed fixed wing aircraft and helicopters to help firefighters on the ground manage tactical firing operations into the evening hours. In the coming days, firefighters aim to connect contingency lines from Hog Creek to Quartz Creek on the east side of the fire.

Overall fire spread was less than 400 acres today. The fire will continue burning actively into the night, particularly between Ennis Riffle and the Galice Boat Ramp, where the fire has burned down to the eastern shore of the Rogue River. 

Winds are expected to die down as relative humidity increases in the early morning hours, reducing fire progression to creeping and smoldering until the morning inversion lifts. 

“Overall, firefighters have made great progress controlling the Rum Creek Fire, especially in areas with difficult topography,” said Eric Riener, incident commander trainee for Northwest 13 IMT.

Friday, the high in Medford was 98F, 10 degrees higher than the seasonal average of 88F. Temperatures will remain in the low to mid 80s through Monday, peaking at 90 Tuesday, with continued higher relative humidity.

Here is the list of current Rum Creek Fire evacuations. 

Sheltering operations are at Josephine County Fairgrounds for those who have a need.

Source: BLM