Protecting the beautiful rivers, wild lands and legendary botanical diversity of Oregon's Kalmiopsis Country

Labrador Fire closes Wild and Scenic Illinois River Corridor

Update July 29th: The Wild and Scenic Illinois River Corridor, the Illinois River Road (FS Road 4103) and the Sixmile Creek Road (FS Road 5105) are closed and now subject to a closure order. Read the closure order here.

Correction July 27th 9:00 p.m.  The Rogue Rive-Siskiyou National Forest has not yet closed the Illinois River Corridor. This is not expected to happen until Monday. The agency is making sweeps of the corridor to inform users that it will be closing.

July 27th 5:30 p.m.  As of this time we have little official information, but residents along the Wild and Scenic Illinois River Corridor have been told that the corridor was closed to the public as of 2:00 p.m. today (July 27th).

Josephine County Search and Rescue will be staffing the entrance to the Illinois Canyon  (FS Road 4103) 24 hours a day. A Forest Service law enforcement officer is going up and down the popular recreation ares rousting campers and miners.

Someone left a campfire burning at Store Gulch and this had to be dealt with.

What closing the river corridor could mean, is the Forest Service is preparing for a big burnout operation as their strategy against the Labrador Fire. At least this is what happened during the 2002 Biscuit Fire.

We’re told that residents at Oak Flat are being aided with reducing fuels around their homes and outbuildings and putting sprinklers on roofs.

Other property owners along the corridor are working feverishly on their own to get roof sprinkler systems operational and to clear fuels.

During the 2002 Biscuit Fire, Forest Service burnout operations, on the eastside of the fire alone, were estimated to have accounted for 100,000 acres of burned National Forest land.[1] Early on fire managers were honest that their goal was to blackened everything between the constructed fireline and the fire itself. Later it was harder to get managers to admit to the strategy and to this day the actual size of the natural Biscuit Fire remains unknown.

Stay tuned.


[1] Burnouts are fires deliberately ignited by fire fighters to remove fuels across a wide area.


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