With the month-old Jack Fire seeing minor growth, crews have been forced to shift their focus to the Rough Patch Complex and new lightning fires outside the perimeter of both blazes east of Glide.
The Jack Fire added just 180 acres of growth Tuesday, raising its total to 23,182 acres. The Rough Patch Complex, however, had grown to 720 acres, largely in part to the Chaos, Rough and Incident 361 fires.
Additionally, resources have been focused on the Chilcoot II Fire, a new lighting fire discovered Monday which is threatening a vital communications tower.
“We want to fight fire aggressively, but we also want to be patient and deliberate,” Northwest Interagency Management Team 13 Incident Commander Brian Gales said. That incident command team, based on French Creek Road east of Glide, is in charge of both fires burning on Umpqua National Forest lands.
“It’s important to think strategically, picking the priority fires and focusing on them,” Gales said.
The Jack Fire was at 77% containment as of Wednesday morning, with the majority of fire activity occurring along the southeast corner of the fire in the area of Horseshoe Bend. The priority has been attacking the new fires started by a Sunday evening lighting storm that passed through the region.
“We’re aggressively trying to get a handle on these new starts, but a few a continuing to hamper our efforts,” said Operations Section Chief John Spencer.
Of the original 21 fires which make up the Rough Patch Complex, all are essentially under control except three: the Chaos, Rough and Incident 361 fires.
“The Jack Fire should stay in place,” said Dean Warner, fire behavior analyst for Team 13. “It’s in sparse fuels and what’s in there is relatively green, so it’s just not carrying fire.”
While Wednesday’s daytime high temperature is expected to push into the 90s with humidity in the teens to lower 20s, a cold front is expecting to move inland Thursday bringing cooler temperatures and bumping humidity levels into the 30s or 40s.