Cool temperatures and a little rain overnight and this morning (Sept. 7) limited the Chetco Bar Fire growth to about 550 acres, giving crews an opportunity to re-establish fire lines closer to the flames in the Pistol River drainage and south of Mount Emily near the upper Winchuck River area.
No more evacuations have been issued and the city of Brookings, Harbor and adjacent areas are not in danger as of this morning.
On Wednesday, task forces prepared structures along the California border while crews continue to both lengthen and widen control lines and wait for conditions to improve in favor of burnouts along lines south of Mt. Emily.
However, the weather is expected to change later Friday, bringing warmer temperatures and drier conditions, officials said.
On Thursday, thunderstorms, possible rainfall and gusty winds will help to mix out smoke in inland communities. Overall, there is an expected improvement in air quality today, according to Incident Commander Noel Livingston.
Firefighters are taking advantage of this break in weather by constructing more fireline as well as clearing brush to strengthen existing firelines below the southwest perimeter of the fire. They are taking advantage of opportunities to build direct fireline where doing so would be effective and can be done safely.
Patrolling and mopping up spot fires to prevent their further spread is continuing along the western perimeter, east of Brookings, as is scouting and building of direct and indirect lines along the north and northeast.
Structure protection is continuing in Store Gulch, Oak Flat, McCaleb’s Ranch, and Footbridge along the Illinois River valley in Josephine County.
In coordination with the local Forest Service and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), heavy equipment will be used to to open previously-used fire lines as part of a containment operation east of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. As visibility and weather allow, aircraft will support firefighters.