Fire Crews Dig Lines To Rein In Umpqua North Complex

Aug 29, 2017

50 miles east of Roseburg, the Umpqua North Complex has burned about 21,000 acres.  It’s a large and difficult series of fires for crews to battle.  

Firefighters patrol perimeter of Happy Dog Fire, at Umpqua North Complex.
Credit inciweb.nwcg.gov

Nearly 1100 firefighters and 80 engines have been committed to the incident.  Nearly two dozen residences are threatened, while one commercial building has been damaged. 

Jim Schwarber is the information lead for the Umpqua North Complex.   He says fire crews are dealing with a lot of challenges.

“Extremely rugged terrain, so they’ve been fighting fire by actually building contingency lines in front of the advance of the fire, so that when the fire gets there, they can safely hold it," says Schwarber.  

Engine crew holding line at Happy Dog Fire, Umpqua North Complex.
Credit inciweb.nwcg.gov

"The weather’s also been extremely hot and dry here, and there’s also no rain in the forecast, in the near future.” 

Schwarber says Highway 138 remains closed between mile markers 43 and 44 due to falling rocks and trees. The nearby Dry Creek community has been instructed to evacuate, due to the threat posed by 16 wildfires in the Umpqua North Complex.

Copyright 2017, KLCC News.