The Chaos and Smith fires burning on separate complexes continue to eat acreage on the Umpqua National Forest.

The Chaos Fire, part of the Rough Patch Complex, had grown to 19,532 acres as of Tuesday morning, while the Little Bend Fire, also part of that complex, had grown to 7,278 acres.

The Rough Patch Complex is located 10 miles north of the Jack Fire, burning between Steamboat and Dry Creek, which was ignited July 5. The Rough Patch Complex is a collection of fires started by a lightning storm that passed through the region on July 29. Containment of the complex had reached 19%, with 675 firefighters and other personnel assigned to the complex.

The Jack Fire had reached 55% containment and is largely in patrol status with just nine firefighters assigned to the operation.

South of the Jack Fire, the Smith Fire on the Devil’s Knob Complex had grown to 23,350 acres as of Tuesday, continuing to spread toward the community of Ash Valley as well as creeping north toward the southern edge of the Near Minky Fire (4,800 acres), which is part of the Rough Patch Complex.

As a whole, the Devil’s Knob Complex of lightning-ignited fires has burned 39,863 acres and is at 28% containment, with the Smith Fire posing the highest priority for the 876 firefighters and personnel assigned. There are four helicopters — two larger Type 1 and two smaller Type 3 units — available to provide air support to firefighters on the ground.

The Big Hamlin Fire, the product of three fires that burned together on the Devil’s Knob Complex, had surpassed 15,000 acres as of Tuesday. As in recent days, that fire’s increased acreage was due in large to burnout operations intended to fortify existing containment lines.

Fire officials with the Florida Red Incident Management Team (Devil’s Knob Complex) and Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1 (Rough Patch/Jack) said smoke can be expected to linger during the mornings until early afternoon. Rising daytime temperatures and increasing winds near the fires may lead to smoke plumes over both complexes.

Donovan Brink can be reached at and 541-957-4219.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

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