Crews Wrapping Up The Flounce Fire, Now 90 Percent Contained

Aug 15, 2017

FINAL UPDATE: TUESDAY, AUG. 15 ...  Fire officials have declared the Flounce Fire near Prospect,  OR, to be 90 percent contained. Final measurement of the fire sizes it at 587 acres; firefighters were finally able to safely walk the perimeter yesterday and complete the mapping and measuring of the fire. All evacuations have been lifted. 

No structures were lost or damaged in this fire. The fire was first reported the evening of August 7th. The cause of the fire has been determined to be lightning. Today, Incident Management Team 1 is transferring command to a local Type 3 organization. Although this means that additional resources will be leaving the region, ODF Southwest District remains fully staffed and ready for the remainder of fire season. Team 1 would like to extend gratitude to the members of the community and the cooperating agencies for all their support and cooperation during the Flounce Fire. Rehabilitation projects to protect the landscape against undue erosion and invasive plants will be begin as mop-up operations decrease. Neighboring communities can still expect to see drift smoke from the interior portions of the fire as crews work to complete the objectives. To stay current on fire activity for the Southwest Oregon District, follow ODF on social media at Facebook.com/ODFsouthwest.

UPDATE: SUNDAY, AUG. 13 ...  Firefighters continued to make progress on the Flounce fire, helped in part by slightly cooler temperatures, somewhat higher relative humidity and reduced lightning activity.

Ground personnel made significant gains reinforcing line around the fire and also focused on mopping up hot areas around the perimeter. Reduced fire starts in the region also meant fewer resources were needed to assist the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Southwest Oregon District and its cooperators on other fires. 

The fire remains at 690 acres and is now 60 percent contained. There are currently no evacuation orders in place. Southwest Oregon is slowly emerging from a period of extreme fire weather, characterized by high temperatures, low humidity, and dry lightning accompanied by unpredictable winds. These conditions have challenged fire managers and taxed resources.  Crews have worked long hours to address new fire starts. Resources brought in to assist with the Flounce Fire have freed up local crews to focus on these new starts. Even though weather conditions have improved slightly, fire danger remains extreme throughout Southwest Oregon, with fire ignition potential at historical levels. Approximately 766 personnel are currently assigned to the Flounce Fire. The 32 hand crews assigned to the fire are also being supported with 9 helicopters, 27 engines, 21 water tenders and 6 dozers. To stay current on any changes in fire activity, follow ODF on social media at Facebook.com/ODFsouthwest.

UPDATE: FRIDAY, AUG. 11 ... The weather continues to dominate headlines with fires in Jackson and Josephine County. Lightning once again lit up the sky over the Flounce and other fires in the area Thursday night, continuing the daily thunderstorm activity that has plagued southern Oregon all week. Thankfully, last night’s electrical event had little effect on the Flounce Fire.

Crews continue to make progress and have prevented any additional fire spread over the past two days. The fire is still estimated to be 690 acres and 40 percent contained. The threat of thunderstorms is expected to continue through the weekend.

After evaluating current fire behavior and activity, a joint decision between Jackson County Emergency Management, Jackson County Fire Defense Board, Prospect Rural Fire Department and fire team officials has been made to lift the Level One (Be Ready) evacuation notice. While Evergreen Drive and Lewis Road residents are no longer under notice, fire officials recommend that everyone “Be Ready” for any emergency. For more information on disaster planning and the community alert system in Jackson and Josephine counties, check www.rvem.org. Approximately 730 personnel are currently assigned to the Flounce Fire. Fire crews are also being supported with 9 helicopters, 23 engines, and 17 water tenders. To stay current on any changes in fire activity, follow ODF on social media at Facebook.com/ODFsouthwest.

UPDATE: THURSDAY, AUG. 10 ... Wednesday evening’s thunderstorm activity brought much needed precipitation to the Flounce Fire with as much as a quarter inch of rain in some areas. The fire stands at an estimated 690 acres and 10 percent contained.

While the rain served as a welcome relief to cool portions of the fire down, it also creates a slew of safety concerns. The added moisture on the ground, combined with burning root systems, weakens trees that could potentially fall at a moment’s notice, compromising firefighter safety and carrying burning material downhill across fire lines. Also of concern is the potential for rock slides in the steep, rugged terrain. The area of greatest concern is the southeast corner of the fire where the rocky cliffs make it difficult to establish solid containment lines. Helicopters will focus bucket drops in that area to support ground forces. The west flank of the fire is in excellent condition. Crews will continue extensive mop up along the western line while also being available to support Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District and its cooperators by responding to new fires in Jackson and Josephine county. A Level One (Be Ready) evacuation notice remains in effect for residents on Evergreen Drive and Lewis Road near Prospect. Jackson County Emergency Management and local fire agencies will continue to coordinate with fire team personnel in evaluating the situation. Level One of the three level Ready, Set, Go evacuation system is something everyone should incorporate into their daily lives. It’s all about having a plan, including assembled emergency kits, being aware of escape plans and evacuation routes and sites, and ready to go at a moment’s notice, regardless of the emergency. Learn more at wildlandfirersg.org. Roughly 650 personnel are currently assigned to the Flounce Fire. Fire crews are also being supported with 9 helicopters, 19 engines, and 17 water tenders. To stay current on any changes in fire activity, follow ODF on social media @Facebook.com/ODFsouthwest.

ORIGINAL POST: WEDNESDAY, AUG. 9 ... A force of more than 300 firefighters worked throughout the day Tuesday to relocate fire lines on the northeast and northwest flanks of the Flounce Fire, burning on private and Bureau of Land Management forestlands roughly 12 miles northeast of Shady Cove.

The fire grew along these flanks but a wide bulldozer-constructed fire line along the southern end of the fire held as wind gusts put it to the test. Although a few spot fires were located outside of the western flank, they were knocked down and contained rapidly.

As of Tuesday evening, the Flounce Fire had reached 600 acres and is eight percent contained.Fire camp was set up today at Touvelle State Park off Table Rock Road in Central Point. The park will remain closed to the public until further notice. Please be cautious of increased fire traffic throughout the area.

A Level One (Be Ready) evacuation notice has been issued by Jackson County Emergency Management for residents on Evergreen Drive and Lewis Road near Prospect. The evacuation order will remain in effect until further notice as a precautionary measure, as officials anticipate additional thunderstorms this week.

A structural protection strike team stood by Tuesday to protect homes and other structures in the event the wildfire posed a threat. The team is assembled from engines and personnel from fire districts in Jackson and Josephine counties.

The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties is “extreme” (red) today. For a full list of the public restrictions currently in place, visit ODF Southwest's Facebook page: @ODFSouthwest or our website: www.swofire.com.