DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- The following is a release from the Umpqua National Forest:
The 142 acre Butte Fire remained within containment lines yesterday and fire crews continued to mop up (extinguish all burning material) 150’ in from the fire line. The fire started on August 14, near Windigo Butte, north of the Mount Thielsen Wilderness and is considered 85% contained. Isolated smokes are visible in the interior of the fire as there are unburned pockets of vegetation within containment lines. Fire managers are pleased with the progress of the mop-up work and are beginning to repair any fire suppression effects on the ground. The Oregon Incident Management Team #2 (ORCA) is managing fire suppression activities for the Butte Fire. There are 407 people assigned to this fire burning on both the Deschutes and Umpqua national forests.
Last night temperatures over the fire area dropped below freezing and the relative humidity increased. Fire fighters took advantage of the weather effects in the morning and aggressively worked to strengthen the fire lines and mop up. Temperatures are expected to be above normal this weekend, but fortunately, the relative humidity (the amount of moisture in the air) is predicted to be in from 27 to 29%. Fire managers become concerned when the relative humidity values drop below 20%. Fire hoses have been installed and charged with water around the entire fire perimeter to assist firefighters with their mop up duties and to cool down any hot spots near the line. Today, handheld infra-red detectors will again be used to identify hot areas near the line so fire crews can be directed towards those areas and put them out.
Approximately 12 miles of the PCT remains closed to protect public safety. As soon as forest officials determine it is safe for hikers to re-enter the area, the trail will be opened. The PCT closure begins at the south near Miller Mountain and ends near Cowhorn Mountain in the north.
Resources assigned to the fire are being released, as the fire suppression effort reaches its objectives.
The Deschutes and Umpqua national forests have enacted area, road and/or trail closure near the fire for public safety.
Visit www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon or www.fs.usda.gov/umpqua for a complete description and map of the closures.
For more information about the Pacific Crest Trail closure, visit http://www.pcta.org.
For up to date information on the Butte Fire visit http://inciweb.org/incident/3161/.