A dry lightning storm rolled across Southwest Oregon early Friday morning. The storm left in its wake numerous small fires. A good source of information about the fires is ODF’s SWOFire website. There’s a 3 p.m. update on the Labrador Fire and an update on other fires, including the Cow Creek Fire, which is at 500+ acres.
We primarily focus on the Labrador Fire on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and the Wild Rivers Ranger District. At 3:00 p.m. July 26th, Virginia Gibbons reported the Labrador Fire to be around 45 acres in size. The fire is near the end of the Illinois River Road (FS #4103), which accesses the Wild and Scenic Illinois River corridor from Selma, Oregon. The Forest Service press release states:
All sides of the fire perimeter remain active. Private land inholdings in the Oak Flat area are currently at risk and fire officials are in contact with local residents.
Recreational users of Illinois River Corridor urged to follow the rules: On a hot summer day the Illinois River corridor can have as many as 1000 people packed into about five miles of river, along a narrow winding river road. People often park carelessly, blocking vehicle traffic. In several cases in the past, emergency vehicles have not been able to get through. Illinois River users are urged 1) to park only in designated areas; and 2) we suggest no open fires, even in Forest Service fire rings. Fire danger on the Wild Rivers Ranger District is listed as “extreme.” Click here for a copy of the parking and other restrictions for the Illinois River Corridor.
There’s also a high level of alcohol use on the corridor. It’s been estimated that as much as 40% of drivers leaving the Illinois River are under the influence. Parents should know this. In 2004, a 16 year old boy was killed and 3 other teens injured in an alcohol related accident on the Illinois River Corridor.
Location of Labrador Fire: The legal description we were given for the location of the Labrador Fire is T37S, R9W, Section 7. The Google Earth images above show the area in general. Labrador Creek flows into the Wild Section of the Wild and Scenic Illinois River below Briggs Creek. The fire is east of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. See SWOFire for a description of crews and resources working on the fire.
Friday Evening Update :
- there will be a Type 2 team briefing on Saturday July 27th at noon at the Grants Pass Interagency Office.
- the Forest Service is setting up a fire camp Incident Command Post at Lake Selmac.
The smokejumpers, hotshots and the Grayback crew camped at Oak Flat and were helping property owners work on fuel breaks and other preparation should the fire reach there. The images below were provided by Bob Maynard at Oak Flat.