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Wildfire News, Successful burnout diminishes threat to Illinois Valley, Oregon homes
Oregon Live/ AP ^ | 2 August 2002 | Jeff Barnard

Posted on 08/02/2002 7:59:19 AM PDT by Grampa Dave

Wildfire News! Successful burnout diminishes threat to Illinois Valley, Oregon homes

By JEFF BARNARD The Associated Press 8/2/02 3:43 AM

SELMA, Ore. (AP) -- A shift in the wind allowed firefighters to torch miles of brush in an effort to save thousands of homes in southwest Oregon.

Hotshot crews poured fire from drip torches, burning a black swath of safety for the 17,000 people of the Illinois Valley. With each mile of burnout added along the 30-mile front of fire, the threat to the towns of Selma, Kerby, Cave Junction and O'Brien diminished.

"I certainly feel better today," Illinois Valley Fire Chief Kyle Kirchner told those who attended a community meeting Thursday night on the Illinois Valley High School football field.

"We're close to turning a corner, but we're not out of the woods yet."

The Florence and Sour Biscuit fires have burned 200,000 acres since lightning started them two weeks ago. Together, they have become the nation's top firefighting priority because of their size, behavior, and the threat to people.

Throughout Oregon, nearly 13,000 firefighters battled major wildfires burning 452,000 acres.

The burnout, which removes brush and other fuels that could feed the wildfire, comes just as the Siskiyou National Forest begins the season of most intense wildfire -- the month of August. Firefighters expect the Florence and Sour Biscuit fires will smoke until the fall rains come.

Firefighters wanted to start the burnout earlier this week, but had to wait for the winds to shift so the fires they ignited would not spread toward town.

"Ma Nature does it on her own schedule," said Erik Christiansen, fire behavior analyst on the Florence Fire, as he watched the burnout from a pickup truck. "We can predict it, but she's still in control."

The fire was only 5 percent contained, but each new mile of burnout eased the threat.

The burnout of the strip one to two miles wide was expected to take three days, and the weather through the weekend was predicted to be favorable -- cooler, moister air with gentle winds. One complication was a chance of rain on Monday. The burnouts must be done before then, or they can't be finished until the ground dries again, said Incident Commander Tom Lohrey.

With the threat diminishing, most local residents are staying, rather than heeding fire commanders' advice to evacuate. The Red Cross reported that only 950 people have left their homes.

Brian and Stephanie Pfeiffer still have their bags packed in case they have to flee, but they looked forward to a calm night.

"I think we'll be able to sleep tonight," Stephanie Pfeiffer said after the meeting. "I feel better now that (the firefighters) are feeling more optimistic."

While wildland firefighters concentrated on the burnout, structural firefighters finished mapping and assessing the hundreds of homes closest to the fire, burning about five miles west of U.S. Highway 199.

Meanwhile, fire commanders began building forces to combat the northern and western flanks of the fire. Bulldozers, hand crews and structural firefighters worked on the north end of the Florence Fire, to protect the community of Agness, which is a center of whitewater rafting river on the Rogue River.

Also high on commanders' priority list was the Timbered Rock fire about 20 miles north of Medford. It had burned about 20,000 acres, was 20 percent contained and was being battled by about 1,000 firefighters. Officials had urged the residents of 40 homes to evacuate.

Here are some of the other major wildfires that were burning Thursday in Oregon:

----The Cache Mountain fire, burning on 4,200 acres 15 miles northwest of Sisters, has destroyed two homes but was 100 percent contained.

----The Tiller Complex, east of Canyonville off Interstate 5, has burned 26,850 acres and was 25 percent contained.

----The Toolbox Fire, which has scorched 86,794 acres in Lake County, was 75 percent contained.


On the Net:

National Interagency Fire Center:

Florence/Sour Biscuit Fires website:

TOPICS: Breaking News
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This sounds like good news. Lets hope so.

Again, would the local Freepers in this area please post what you have heard or seen.

1 posted on 08/02/2002 7:59:20 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: AuntB; EBUCK; Granof8; Species8472; Archie Bunker on steroids; wanderin; thirst4truth; meadsjn; ...
Appears to be some good news finally for those innocents in the Illinois Valley area.

The live report on the hour (8 am) on Lars Station confirmed this potential good news.

If you have any more news, please post it.
2 posted on 08/02/2002 8:08:46 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: madfly; brityank; farmfriend; WaterDragon; Ernest_at_the_Beach; JohnHuang2; backhoe
This if FYI.

Please use your magic Pinger List to let this potential good news go out.
3 posted on 08/02/2002 8:11:31 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: Grampa Dave; All
Rick Hartigan, USFS information officer for West Florence fire, reports at 7:30 a.m. on August 2: Fire in very much the same area as yesterday, did not advance toward Agness. Very little change in the weather forecast, winds will swing back and forth, upper level low coming in for the weekend, offshore flow with higher humidity. Chance of RAIN in four days. Showing good recovery at night. Activity yesterday, completion of triage work at Agness, more to be done. Dozers still working on line. Wilderness Retreat (14 miles up Chetco) work expected to be done today. Bringing in helicopters today, portable 10,000 gallon tank being set up at (Curry County's) Oak Flat for helicopters to dip from. Helicopters capable of dropping 150 to 2500 gallons at one time. No percentage of containment of fire, no containment date.

Sheriff Kent Owens advises any evacuation notice will come through his office which will provide security. Road closure at the North Bank of Chetco at the South Fork bridge except for residents.

Mike Murphy, emergency services director, said Curry General Hospital is prepared to treat those with smoke related problems or injuries from the fire lines. A Red Cross shelter is ready at the high school.

Coos Forest Protection agency reports Florence and Biscuit fires not yet merged as of 5 p.m. August 1. Fire continues to burn primarily in the Siskiyou National forest.

KURY Radio reports a lot of smoke in Brookings-Harbor this morning. Some of the best marijuana gardens have burned with the forests. Great progress with Shelley Creek fire - 50% contained since yesterday (August 1). Highway 199 remains closed through Sunday.

ALERT FOR CALIFORNIA: Authorities on Tuesday were searching for Brookings resident Billy Gene Preuitt, who is suspected of murdering his neighbor Carol Zimmerman. Anyone who has any information about Preuitt, or who has seen Zimmerman's red 1990 Toyota Corolla with Oregon license plate VXG 212, is asked call the Brookings Police Department at (541) 469-3118, or the Crime Stoppers hotline (800) 974-0000. Preuitt, who lives in the next door apartment, is being sought in connection with her murder. He was reported to be driving Zimmerman's 1990 red Toyota Corolla when last seen at a motel in Redding, Calif.

4 posted on 08/02/2002 8:16:08 AM PDT by Granof8
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To: Granof8; All
Folks, here is a great new update from our Granof8, who is in Gold Beach.

Again, we see the power of Freepers when it comes to getting the news and what is really happening out for the rest of us.
5 posted on 08/02/2002 8:19:27 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: Free the USA; Libertarianize the GOP; Stand Watch Listen; freefly; expose; Fish out of Water; ...
6 posted on 08/02/2002 8:26:21 AM PDT by madfly
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To: All; madfly
This is a timely thread.

Sounds like other Senators want the same exemptions to manage the forests/wildlands in their states that Mullah Shorty Da$$hole wants: (If It's Good Enough for Da$$hole's Voters, It's good enough for the other states)

7 posted on 08/02/2002 8:28:43 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: All
ATTENTION: Watch ABC's 20/20 tonight! Here is an email from him on tonight's segment:

This Friday's "Give Me A Break" about the "missing" lynx. The Canada lynx is getting some people very excited. An environmental group burned down a ski lodge in Vail because they thought it might threaten the lynx.

There are tens of thousands of lynx throughout North America, but because the bureaucrats weren't sure there were any in southern Washington state-they commissioned a million dollar study to find out. They placed pieces of carpet soaked with a catnip mixture on trees hoping the lynx would then rub up against them and leave some fur. Sure enough--samples the biologists sent to the lab contained hairs from a Canada lynx!

This is a frightening prospect for people who like using the land. Finding a threatened species can set in motion a series of events that can wreck your life if you're a rancher or farmer or just someone who wants to drive in the woods. It's a reason lots of people in southern Washington are scared of the government's environmental police. As land rights activist Mike Paulson put it, "We basically say if you have an endangered species in your area, we are going to take your livelihood away, we're going to destroy your communities, and we're going to make it very difficult for your families to survive."

That didn't happen this time because it turned out the government's biologist were caught cheating! The lynx hair sent to the lab came from a lynx that lives in a cage, miles away from where the biologists claimed they found the hair. How could this happen? Jim Beers, a Fish and Wildlife biologist for 31 years, says his agency changed from promoting science to pushing what some believe is fanatical environmentalism. Now he says the agency is " staffed with environmental radical activists" who will twist facts until they get the results they want; and what they really to ban people from forests. "Once you establish that there are any lynx in the area, ...the areas in between suddenly become very urgent to not allow road to be built, not allow the ski slopes to come in... not allow grazing... ultimately, not to let you or I drive our wives and kids in for a picnic."

The biologists do have an explanation; they weren't trying to cheat, they say, they were just testing the labs to make sure they could actually identify lynx fur. Beers replies: "That's the same as you telling me that you caught them walking out of the bank with money and they said oh, we were just seeing if the system works here, we were going to return it tomorrow."

Were the biologists fired for cheating? No. How often do governments fire anyone? They were "verbally counseled," but they are still on the job. It makes me wonder what other parts of their science we don't know the truth about.

If we now have the extremists giving orders with the power of government, everyone's freedom is at risk.

Give me a break.

8 posted on 08/02/2002 8:34:16 AM PDT by madfly
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To: madfly; Grampa Dave
According to the article the burnout removed 'brush and debris' from the path of the fire, depriving it of fuel.

That this brush and debris has not been regularly cleaned out all along is entirely due to the Democratic Party/Enviromentalist Socialists forestry policies preventing it, and preventing thinning the forests with logging as well.

All the tree-huggers and those they have deceived in Oregon need to take a good hard look at these fires. Nothing beautiful about forests denuded with such hot fires. Nothing there for the precious spotted owl, either.
9 posted on 08/02/2002 8:37:58 AM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: WaterDragon
The biggest threat to the environment is the Environmentalist mowvement.
10 posted on 08/02/2002 8:41:38 AM PDT by Clive
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To: madfly
11 posted on 08/02/2002 9:02:33 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: Clive
12 posted on 08/02/2002 9:04:26 AM PDT by calawah98
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To: Grampa Dave
This is better news than we've had for quite a while.

Thank heaven for Hotshots, and thank YOU for all the hard work in bringing us updated information, Grampa.

Adding all the links to your related posts is a GREAT idea, especially for those who haven't been following the situation out there as closely as some have.

13 posted on 08/02/2002 9:15:41 AM PDT by cake_crumb
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To: Grampa Dave
Thanks for your daily update, Grampa. Sounds like things are looking up a bit. Continued prayers for our Oregon FReepers...
14 posted on 08/02/2002 9:16:13 AM PDT by nutmeg
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To: Grampa Dave
More fire news in the times-standard this morning. The weather should give them a break unless it contains more lightning.
15 posted on 08/02/2002 9:18:41 AM PDT by tubebender
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To: Grampa Dave
You know...thinning forests and eliminating the overabundant fuel shouldn't require an act of congress. It's a common sense policy which Forestry ought to be allowed to impliment...WITHOUT FEAR OF ENVIRONAZI LAWSUITS!!
16 posted on 08/02/2002 9:23:08 AM PDT by cake_crumb
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To: cake_crumb; WaterDragon; madfly; brityank; farmfriend; countrydummy; sauropod; AAABEST; All
Thanks for your kind words.

You posted this, "Adding all the links to your related posts is a GREAT idea, especially for those who haven't been following the situation out there as closely as some have."

Here is how our great group can help here. Please link any related enviral issue thread to this thread, and then provide a link on this thread to get to that thread.

All of this is tied in together, and we need to make it easy for those following this fire to link to another enviral thread with a tie in.

Even if it is enviral whacko news that is happening on the East Cost, it has a tie in to those of us on the West Coast.

Conservatives across the Freeper Nation need to realize that if envirals are causing a problem in Oregon/Kali, that problem will have a direct relationship to their state even if it is 3,000 miles away.

Every federal tax payer will be paying billions for these Enviral related wild fires due to their agendas.

This is plea to all good enviralists to link this thread to other enviral threads and vice versa. It is all part of the enviral attempt to destroy America in the name of the environment.
17 posted on 08/02/2002 9:29:07 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: madfly
Thanks for the heads up!
18 posted on 08/02/2002 9:34:05 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Grampa Dave; madfly
Lots of good info here, Gramps.

"One complication was a chance of rain on Monday."

The weather is cooling down quite a bit. I hope the cool weather makes it all the way down there. We are supposed to have rain up here on Sunday, but I understand that the firefighters don't want rain as it would hinder their backfires and, possibly, may contain more lightening.
So, here's hoping that they get the cooler weather, and no rain.
I, also, saw on the news last night that they are considering changing from a 30 minute evacuation to a 24 hour evacuation. The firefighters seem to be cautiously optimistic.

Thanks for the ping, madfly!

19 posted on 08/02/2002 9:43:25 AM PDT by dixiechick2000
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To: Grampa Dave
My Brother just left this morning for Shady Cove to build another house. G*d help them evnirals is something happens to him while down there.

Thanks so much, again, for your vigilence!! We Oregonians appreciate your efforts!


20 posted on 08/02/2002 9:47:08 AM PDT by EBUCK
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