As the Flat Fire continues to pose a threat in the region, firefighting crews have reported some significant successes in containing and managing the blaze. The recent efforts have been particularly effective on the western side of the fire.
Utilizing a combination of strategic burnout operations and mop-up activities, crews have managed to bring the fire down along the Wildhorse Road on the western front. Additionally, on the northern flank of the fire, plans are in place to conduct further burnout operations and mop-up efforts.
However, vigilance remains a priority, and fire managers are closely monitoring the situation. Alternate firelines are being established on the west and northeast sides of the fire as a precautionary measure in case the primary control lines face challenges.
One area of concern is a small spot fire detected off the southeastern edge of the main fire. Although it currently exhibits minimal fire behavior, it’s being closely watched to prevent any escalation.
For the safety and protection of nearby communities, structure protection groups will continue their presence in Oak Flat, Spud Road, and Agness.
On the north side of the fire, firefighters are persistently engaged in mop-up operations and securing the fire line edge. Concurrently, resources are working diligently to clear vegetation along Forest Road (FR) 3318, also known as Wildhorse Road.
The Coos Forest Protective Association and South Coast Lumber Company are playing an active role in establishing alternate control lines west of FR 3318 to bolster containment efforts.
Meanwhile, crews are gearing up for a firing operation to the south, along FR 3680, a critical measure aimed at preventing the fire from spreading further southwest.
Another crucial endeavor is underway, as forces are working from Game Lake towards conducting firing operations, aiming to connect the southwestern side of the fire.
In the eastern region, work is being carried out along FR 2308 (Burnt Ridge Road), where machinery is being utilized to aid in containment.
To enhance their operations, firefighting teams are utilizing Unstaffed Aerial Systems (UAS) and helicopters to assist with firing operations, further reinforcing their coordinated response.
Fire managers are exploring multiple options to suppress the fire directly and limit its spread as much as possible.
As the situation remains dynamic, a Level 2 “Get Set” evacuation notice continues to be in effect for the areas from Agness to Quosatana Creek and for the communities of Oak Flat, Old House Creek Road, and Spud Road. Residents in these areas should remain vigilant and prepared to act if necessary.
As of the latest update, the wildfire has affected a vast area, covering 23,104 acres. The firefighting efforts are supported by a dedicated team of 1,593 personnel, including 46 engines, 37 crews, 8 bulldozers, 30 water tenders, 8 masticators, and 11 helicopters.
Containment progress stands at 3%, indicating the challenging nature of the fire, but with continued dedication and strategic planning, the teams are optimistic about making further headway in the coming days.
Authorities urge everyone in the region to stay informed and heed evacuation orders and safety guidelines issued by local authorities as the situation develops.
The battle against the wildfire is a collective effort, and the firefighting teams are committed to protecting lives, properties, and the natural environment from this significant threat.
You can track this fire through our 2023 Wildfire Season partner’s Wildfire Aware app.