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Management Team: End of Horse Prairie Fire’s growth in sight

September 6, 2017 GMT

About one quarter of the 16,419-acre Horse Prairie Fire between Riddle and Camas Valley has been contained as of Tuesday night.

According to Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 3, the end of the fire’s growth is in sight.

“The remaining burnout, there’s nothing easy about it,” said Eric Perkins, night operations section chief. The team conducted a 5-mile control burn of woody debris next to Cow Creek and the fireline. They were working on control burning the last section of unsecured fire line Tuesday night, despite the increasing winds in the area challenging their containment of flying embers.

With the help of heat-sensing infrared cameras, crews continued to extinguish flames and embers next to the fireline on other portions of the fire.

One hundred fifty people from the Oregon National Guard joined the staff working on the fire Tuesday to help with control operations. Now, there are 1,099 personnel working on the fire.

The Level 3 “Go” evacuation and road closures remain in effect for the areas near the Horse Prairie Fire.

In the Umpqua National Forest, the Umpqua North Complex fires were burning 31,568 acres and were 24 percent contained as of Tuesday evening. A local smoke inversion and the smoke from nearby fires has limited potential extreme fire behavior Tuesday while the fire continued to advance through surface fuels at a moderate speed.

A red flag warning is in effect from 11 a.m. today to 11 p.m. Thursday due to lightning and dry fuels. Weather forecasters predict a cloudy Wednesday with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. High temperatures could get to 85 to 90 degrees with a minimum humidity of 35 or 40 percent, while low temperatures could be around 55 to 60 degrees with maximum humidity of 90 to 95 percent.

The U.S. Forest Service reopened the north shore of the North Umpqua River from Susan Creek to Forest Road 4714 Tuesday. The North Umpqua River itself is closed for those areas, but bank access is open.

The Falcon Complex fires in the Umpqua National Forest east of Tiller reached 2,935 acres and were 60 percent contained as of Tuesday afternoon.

The portion of the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness in the Tiller Ranger District is now closed, as is the area between the western edge of the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness and Forest Road 29. Forest Roads 2925 and 2926-800 are also closed.

For more information, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov.