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Thursday, August 11, 2016

8/11/2016 Juntura Complex Update

Vale, Oregon – As the three fires of the Juntura Complex show higher percentages of containment, crews on the ground continue working to ensure that all residual pockets of heat are identified and reduced. They are using modified suppression methods – cooling and extinguishing remaining heat to prevent risk of escape, but, when safe to do so, preserving valuable unburned grazing land and sage grouse habitat.
Yesterday, crew members were transported by helicopter into hard to reach terrain on the north side of the Sheep Rock fire (12,793 acres, 60% contained) where overnight infared mapping had identified hot spots burning in small groves of juniper. Helicopters assisted, dropping bucket loads of water. Firefighters will continue to focus work in this area today.
The Simmons Gulch fire is 11,362 acres and containment is approximately 70%. This fire is located on the south side of Highway 20, roughly 30 miles west of Vale and 20 miles east of Juntura, Oregon. Crews continue to locate and control hot spots and improve the perimeter of the fire area. Equipment is being used to rehabilitate interior dozer lines that were initially used to stop the fire’s advance.
The Rooster Comb fire is approximately 156 acres and is 95% contained. It is southeast of the Easterday Reservoir and is expected to be fully contained and shifted to patrol status by the end of today.
Higher temperatures and lower relative humidity in the fire area contribute to extremely dry fuels. Temperatures today (90’s) will be about 5 degrees hotter than yesterday, gain another five degrees (95) tomorrow, and reach 100 degrees on the weekend. This heat and the abundant, dense grass fuel loading pose risk of rapid potential fire growth if any fire should escape from within the constructed fire perimeter. Wind speeds are forecast to be low (under 5-7 mph), but any flying embers would be extremely dangerous.
Demobilization of excess resources will begin over the next few operational periods as full containment of the fires is achieved.
QUICK FACTS
Simmons Gulch: 11,362 acres, 70% contained
Sheep Rock: 12,783 acres, 60% contained
Rooster Comb: 156 acres, 95% contained
Location: West of Vale, Oregon and south of State Highway 20 Hazards: Heavier than normal fuel loads contribute to rapid rate of spread
Values at Risk: Rangelands, sage grouse habitat
Cause: Lightning
Containment: Complex 65%
Resources Committed or Available:
4 Type I Crews
7 Type II Crews
15 Engines
8 Dozers
4 Water Tenders
1 Grader
Personnel: 422

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