Firefighters are taking advantage of cooler, more humid weather to make progress containing the Rum Creek Fire. In the last few days, containment has risen to 27%.
Nearly the entire Rum Creek Fire is encircled by well-defined control lines. Natural fire spread or tactical firing operations have burned the fuels adjacent to these lines. Crews are mopping up burned areas near the fire’s edges, searching for any hidden pockets of heat that might flare up later and allow the fire to escape fire lines. All of these remaining hot spots must be extinguished to secure the fire edge.
“Containment” is an expression of confidence that the control lines will hold given the expected fire behavior and weather.
Portions of the fire line will not be declared “contained” until fire managers agree that pieces of fire perimeter have been thoroughly cooled and will not escape. An increase in containment represents a lot of work: planning and preparing fire lines, deploying hose lays, tactical firings, monitoring for spot fires outside the lines, mopping up, and repeated checks with more mop up as needed.
On Saturday, fire personnel continued tactical firing on the northwest side of the fire. Firing operations were suspended when smoke was too thick for ignited fuels to burn well. Crews plan to complete firing operations today, connecting the line from Mount Peavine north to the Rogue River.
Tactical firing will continue on the northeast side of the fire, where the fire is slowly progressing through the McKnabe Creek drainage. To the north and south, crews continue to mop up areas near Grave Creek and Stratton Creek.
Yesterday, the Office of State Fire Marshal began demobilizing task forces from the Rum Creek Fire. Two task forces were reassigned to the Double Creek Fire, others are returning to their home units. Other OSFM resources will remain on the Rum Creek Fire for the next three operational shifts. They continue to mop up remaining hot spots near structures, cutting hazard trees, and patrolling areas along Galice Road. Firefighters are working on structure assessment and pre-planning to the north and southeast of the fire.
Also on Saturday, the aircraft with Distributed Real-Time Infrared (DRTI) completed its last mapping flight for Rum Creek Fire. It has been reassigned to a fire with a greater need for its capabilities. Other resources will be released as they are no longer needed, allowing them to go to other fires or back home to prepare for their next assignments.
Size: 18,966 acres. Containment: 27%. Resources assigned: 2,098
Here is the list of current Rum Creek Fire evacuations.
Sheltering operations are at Josephine County Fairgrounds for those who have a need.