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Eugene Daily News
Tim Chuey

Tim Chuey

Tim Chuey is a Member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association and has been Awarded Seals of Approval for television weathercasting from both organizations.
chuey@teleport.comhttp://timchueyweather4u.comhttps://www.facebook.com/tim.chueyweatherlion

It Feels Like We’re Living In A Johnny Cash Song Lyric.

It was written as a love song about the relationship between two people. Their relationship was fraught with turmoil, but one line from this iconic Johnny Cash song, that was written by June Carter Cash and Merle Kilgore, certainly fits our current situation. The song is “Ring of Fire” and the line that fits our predicament is ” I Fell Into A Burnin’ Ring of Fire, I Went Down, Down Down, And the Flames Went Higher.” Just in case you don’t know the song here it is from Youtube.

I find it interesting that the network newscasts spend a lot of time talking about the fires threatening Los Angeles, California and hardly mention, if at all, the fact that so much of Oregon is going up in flames.

I have taken up space for two articles in this column about the wildfires and I really didn’t want to write another one, but I thought it very important to show you just how serious our fire situation is and that it will remain so for some time to come.

First let’s take a look at the total raw numbers to get an overall picture of the wildfire situation. As of Sunday 9.10.17 there are a total of 17 large wildfires in the state of Oregon. If my calculations are correct they comprise total of 474,676 acres with 14,398 people fighting the fires and a myriad of helicopters and fire engines too. We’ll take a closer look at each fire.

Chetco Bar Fire

Chetco Bar Fire | Photo by triplicate.com

The Chetco Bar fire: Located east-northeast of Brookings in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Kalmiopsis Wilderness, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 182,284. The fuel is timber, brush, Closed-canopy understory litter. It started on 7/12/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 8,523 single residences (1 damaged, 6 destroyed), 3,713 non-residential commercial and 50 other minor structures (8 damaged, 24 destroyed).  Resources being used: 1,421 people, 42 crews, 7 helicopters, and 47 engines. The fire is 5% contained.

Eagle Creek Wildfire

Eagle Creek Wildfire | Photo by wikimedia.org

*The Eagle Creek fire: Located 1 mile south of Cascade Locks, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 33,382. The fuel is timber. It started on 9/2/17 and the cause is listed as human caused -under investigation. Residences threatened- 5,230 single residences (4 destroyed). Resources being used: 969 people, 21 crews, 10 helicopters, and 96 engines. The fire is 7% contained. * This fire was originally 2 separate fires – The Eagle Creek Fire and the Indian creek fire, but the two merged in to one larger fire.

The Falcon Complex fire: Located 25 miles east of Tiller, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 2,935. The fuel is timber. It started on 8/8/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 5 single residences and 15 minor structures. Resources being used: 225 people, 6 crews, 1 helicopters, and 14 engines. The fire is 62% contained.

High

High Cascades Complex Wildfire| Photo by inciweb.nwcc.gov

The High Cascades Complex fire: Located 9 miles northeast of Prospect, Oregon. The number of acres involved 70,654. The fuel is timber (litter and understory). It started on 8/12/17 and the cause is listed as under investigation. Resources being used: 424 people, 16 crews, 6 helicopters, and 39 engines. The fire is 21% contained.

The Horse Creek Complex fire: Located Willamette National Forest south of highway 126 and E of FS Rd 19, Oregon. The number of acres involved 29,417. The fuel is timber, litter and light logging slash. It started on 8/21/17 and the cause is listed as unknown. Residences Threatened- 42 single residences, 691 mixed commercial/residential. Resources being used: 776 people, 28 crews, 8 helicopters, and 13 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

The Horse Prairie fire: Located 15 miles northwest of Canyonville, Oregon. The number of acres involved 16,436. The fuel is timber, litter and understory) and medium logging slash. It started on 8/26/17 and the cause is listed as unknown. Residences Threatened- 9 single residences, 2 other minor structures destroyed. Resources being used: 776 people, 28 crews, 8 helicopters, and 13 engines. The fire is 40% contained.

The Jones fire: Located at 10 miles northeast of Lowell, Oregon. The number of acres involved 8,536. The fuel is large downed trees and standing snags. Green trees may be weakened from 2003 fire in same area. It started on 8/10/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 4 single residences and 1 minor structure (1 minor structure destroyed. Resources being used: 406 people, 12 crews, 3 helicopters, and 17 engines. The fire is 48% contained.

Miller Complex Wildfire

Miller Complex Wildfire | Photo by inciweb.nwcc.gov

The Miller Complex fire: Located 17 miles east of Cave Junction, Oregon. The number of acres involved 34,172. The fuel is mixed conifer understory with Shasta red fir dominance and numerous snags. It started on 8/14/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 182 single residences and 20 mixed commercial/residential, 5 minor structures threatened. Resources being used: 604 people, 15 crews, 6 helicopters, and 35 engines. The fire is 35% contained.

The Milli fire: Located at 9 miles west of Sisters, Oregon in the Deschutes National Forest and the Three Sisters Wilderness. The number of acres involved 24,025. The fuel is timber and brush. It started on 8/11/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 2,055 single residences. Resources being used: 59 people, 1 crew, 0 helicopters, and 5 engines. The fire is 60% contained.

The Nash fire: Located at 6  miles north of Elk Lake, Oregon. The number of acres involved 6,159. The fuel is timber. It started on 8/10/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 42 single residences, 3 mixed commercial/residential, 150 other minor structures threatened. Resources being used: 40 people, 1 crews, 1 helicopter, and 1 engine. The fire is 0% contained.

The North Pelican fire: Located on the North slope of Pelican Butte, Oregon. The number of acres involved 3,474. The fuel is closed timber litter; brush. It started on 8/10/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 200 single residences. Resources being used: 219 people, 5 crews, 0 helicopters, and 22 engines. The fire is 25% contained.

The Potato Hill fire: Located 20 miles northwest of Sisters, Oregon. The number of acres involved 199. The fuel is heavy logging slash and timber. It started on 8/29/17 and the cause is listed as unknown. Structures threatened- 2 non-residential commercial property. Resources being used: 11 people, 0 crews, 0 helicopters, and 2 engines. The fire is 95% contained.

The Rebel fire: Located 13 miles south of McKenzie Bridge, Oregon. The number of acres involved 7,784. The fuel is timber (litter and understory) and light logging slash. It started on 8/4/17 and the cause is listed as unknown. Resources being used: 55 people, 1 crew, 0 helicopters, and 4 engines. The fire is 19% contained.

The Rim fire: Located 6 miles east of Clear Lake, Oregon. The number of acres involved 250. The fuel is timber with grass and understory. It started on 10/3/17 and the cause is listed as unknown. Resources being used: 80 people, 2 crews, 0 helicopters, and 6 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

The Staley fire: 23 miles south of Oakridge, Oregon. The number of acres involved 2,300. The fuel is timber, brush. It started on 8/10/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Resources being used: 62 people, 2 crews, 0 helicopters, and 7 engines. The fire is 81% contained.

Umpqua North Complex Wildfire

Umpqua North Complex Wildfire | Photo by inciweb.nwcc.gov

The Umpqua North Complex fire: Located 50 miles east of Roseburg, Oregon along highway 138. The number of acres involved 39,529. The fuel is timber, tall grass, and brush. It started on 8/11/17 and the cause is listed as under investigation. Residences threatened- 79 single residences, 48 non residential structures (13 damaged), and 21 other minor structures (1  destroyed). Resources being used: 998 people, 19 crews, 5 helicopters, and 60 engines. The fire is 36% contained.

Whitewater Fire

Whitewater Fire | Photo by InciWeb through wtvz.com

*The Whitewater fire: Located 15 miles east of Detroit, Oregon. The number of acres involved 13,140. The fuel is timber, bush. It started on 7/23/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 143 single residences;  1 mixed residential /commercial , 2 non-residential/commercial properties, and 54 other minor structures. Resources being used: 288 people, 5 crews, 4 helicopters, and 8 engines. The fire is 33% contained.

We did finally get some rain and a major wind shift which combined to finally bring our air quality back to GOOD. The rain did not do much for the fire situation though and that means it will be some time before the fires are fully contained. It will take even more time and effort to actually put out all of those fires. The rain season getting started is the best cure for this massive wildfire situation and would greatly aid the firefighting operations.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: tim.chuey@eugenedailynews.com.

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