Umpqua National Forest (www.fs.usda.gov/umpqua)
Contact: Tom Lavagnino, 541-433-2425 (Fire Information)
Butte Fire Update
The 140 acre Butte Fire, detected late on August 14 near Windigo Butte, is now 35% contained. The decrease in size of the fire is due to improved mapping. The fire is burning in steep terrain with dead and down timber and is challenging firefighting efforts due to a lack of safety zones, and lookouts for firefighting crews, and dense smoke. There are 402 people assigned to this fire burning on both the Deschutes and Umpqua national forests. The Oregon Incident Management Team #2 (ORCA) has command and management responsibilities for the fire.
The cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity on Saturday enabled firefighters to make good progress on building and holding containment lines. Hand-constructed firelines are now completed west of the Pacific Crest Trail (Umpqua N.F.). Dozers and hand crews worked together to construct firelines east of the Pacific Crest Trail (Deschutes N.F.), flanking the north and south perimeters to the head of the fire. Only light precipitation (0.03-0.04 inches) fell over the fire area.
Today, dozers and eleven 20-person hand crews will work to complete about two miles of fireline west of the Pacific crest (close to the fire front). Mop-up and rehabilitation of fire suppression activities will also begin, primarily on the west end of the fire.
The fire, located north of the Mount Thielsen Wilderness, has closed approximately 12 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail closure begins on the south near Miller Mountain and ends near Cow Horn Mountain in the north.
The Deschutes and Umpqua national forests have enacted area, road and/or trail closure near the fire to protect the public. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon or www.fs.usda.gov/umpqua for a complete description and map of the closures.
For more information about the Pacific Crest Trail closure, visit http://www.pcta.org.
For up to date information on the Butte Fire visit http://inciweb.org/incident/3161/.