Archie Creek Fire nears full containment

Here is the latest.

Posted: Sep 12, 2020 1:59 PM
Updated: Oct 13, 2020 11:51 PM

GLIDE, Ore. -- The Archie Creek Fire has burned 131,542 acres and remains 95 percent contained, officials said on Tuesday.

There are currently 251 people assigned to the fire. 

PHOTO BY JACOB WELSH

Firefighters are continuing mop up, patrol and suppression repair. Crews are also working on hazard tree mitigation, especially in the southeast area of the fire. The Burned Area Emergency Response team is assessing environmental conditions such as severe loss of vegetation and soil erosion which could lead to poor water quality and flash flooding.

Some equipment is being backhauled and sent to other fires.

On Thursday, a flareup was found near Zig Zag Creek and helicopters dropped water on the area. A separate hot spot was found in a similar area of the fire on Sunday. In that incident, fire officials revealed they dropped 8,400 gallons of water over steep terrain in the Zig Zag area on the northeast side of the fire. 

On Monday, crews planned to monitor the area and drop more water on it if necessary. 

Firefighters will continue mopping up some areas but are mostly transitioning to patrol status. Crews are also working to remove hazards along the Wright Creek and Cool Water areas.

Smoldering inside the fire is expected to continue until winter rains end the fire season. 

As work is completed, firefighters and equipment are being released from the fire.

Areas within the fire perimeter are closed to the public. Only residents and fire personnel are allowed in the area.

Smoke from California fires kept temperatures lower than expected on the fire, helping firefighters make progress mopping up, fire officials said.

An infrared flight on Wednesday night showed isolated points of heat throughout the fire. Small flareups were found on the east flank of the fire caused when needles falling from burned trees ignited in those scattered heat sources. They were in the fire interior and did not pose a threat to fire lines.

On Wednesday, crews working to clear roads removed a boulder the size of a bus from an interior road on the east side of the fire. 

A hot spot flared up on Tuesday in the northeastern flank in the Zig Zag Creek and upper Trapper Creek areas, and helicopters dropped water on the flareups to cool them down.

Fire behavior was minimal again on Saturday and firefighters worked where they could, being mindful of slick roads from up to an inch of rain that fell on the fire overnight.

Creeping and smoldering is the theme and it will continue to be for a while here,” said fire behavior analyst Greg Titus.

The rain crews got on the fire Friday night helped their mop up operations as we look to suppression repair on the fire area to "leave it like we found it" as much as possible.

On Sept. 22, the fire flared up in the northeastern flank of the fire in the Trapper Creek area and water drops were used to cool it down. In other areas, firefighters continued to make good progress building and strengthening fire lines and mopping up. 

The south, east and north edges of the fire remain of concern.

An infrared flight that day showed many hot spots scattered throughout the fire. Fire hose has been placed to help keep areas near containment lines cool. 

The previous Sunday a low inversion over the fire helped kept fire behavior to smoldering, creeping and backing. Firefighters continued to make good progress building and strengthening fire lines and mopping up. 

Firefighters flying over the fire discovered a new start outside the perimeter of the Archie Fire, about two miles north of its northeast flank in the Pass Creek area. They believe the fire probably was caused from a lightning strike from a recent thunderstorm and flared up when conditions became warmer and drier.

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