One of the last small areas to be burned out in the Upper Cow Creek area was successfully completed last night. Mop-up is underway in that area while much of the north end of the fire has almost completed mop-up. Mop-up means fire fighters walk the fireline, sometimes using handheld infrared devices, and ensure that no heat or smoke is visible for several hundred feet inside. Mop-up also continues along some sections of the southeast, south and southwest flanks. Operations managers report that there are still those areas with large, burning trees inside the line that, with a bit of wind, higher temperatures and dry receptive fuels could carry fire outside containment lines.
“I think the message that we got with yesterday’s unexpected critical fire weather,” says Deputy Incident Commander Russ Lane, “is that, despite the success we’ve had, this is still a big fire with a lot of life and potential in it. We will continue to be vigilant, holding and widening the lines we have while we work to wrap up the south end.” The weather is expected to continue to be hot and dry again today which will increase fire behavior. There is still a large burnout needed on the south end of the fire, north of Upper Cow Creek Road and Beaver Creek. Prep work along roads in the area continues as firefighters wait for the right conditions to complete that operation.
The Stouts Creek Fire has had an unusually good safety record for a fire that has had over 1900 people. The medical unit’s primary complaints have been a significant number of firefighters dealing with poison oak and bee stings. Wednesday afternoon, a firefighter was also taken off the line with a knee injury and taken to a local hospital.
There currently are 1,560 personnel assigned to the fire with 56 crews, 46 engines, 30 water tenders, 21 bulldozers and 10 helicopters. Numbers of personnel and equipment will continue to shrink as objectives are met and these resources move on to fires with greater needs.
The Stouts Creek Fire costs to date are $22.4 million. The Incident Management Team leading the effort under unified command is protecting lands that are about 52 percent on state protected lands, which include BLM and private lands, and 48 percent on the Umpqua National Forest. Twenty-three states and three Canadian provinces have provided staff for this effort.
Stouts Fire Information Office