ODF Fire Protection Division Chief Doug Grafe has been at the Chetco Bar Fire yesterday and today. The fire has burned 105,518 acres in Curry County, making it the largest wildfire in Oregon so far this year. Grafe met with Coos Forest Protective Association leaders, co-operators, forest landowners and incident managers. Below is his assessment of the fire, which is the largest wildfire so far this year in Oregon:
- The past four days on the fire have been highly productive as firefighters have turned from life-safety tactics during last week's fire runs to aggressive fire suppression efforts. Direct attack efforts organized through the Coos Forest Protective Association (CFPA) and forest landowners on the head of the fire have been highly effective at checking the spread of the fire toward coastal communities. We have established over 14 miles of dozer lines thus far. Structure task forces have held their ground protecting homes against another potential run from this fire. Dozers and hand crews are pushing into Forest Service ground on the north and east flanks, building fire line as tight as possible to the fire perimeter as we move into more broken and difficult terrain. There is very challenging firefighting ahead of us but our emergency response coordination at all levels is aligned very well. Approximately 18,000 acres of ODF-protected lands through CFPA have burned on this fire, including private and Bureau of Land Management lands.
Chetco Bar has burned to within five miles of Brookings, whose residents have been put on a pre-evacuation notice. To date the fire has destroyed five homes, 20 outbuildings, and 13 vehicles. It has also damaged one home and eight outbuildings. No additional homes were reported destroyed or damaged Friday.
Highway 101 remains open but motorists are requested to avoid traveling the section north of the Brookings area if possible.