Strong containment lines and diligent mop-up operations have kept the perimeter of the Graham Fire in check. After two days with no new fire growth, the Jefferson County Sherriff has lowered the evacuation level to 1 (READY) and allowing residents to return to their homes. The fire has burned 2,175 acres and estimated at 65% containment.
Fire managers are focused on strengthening control lines and continuing mop-up operations. Mop-up involves firefighters digging out hot spots and extinguishing all remaining heat. Crews start on the fire perimeter and move toward the center. It’s hard, methodical and dirty work but technology makes it more efficient. Firefighters use heat-seeking cameras with infra-red technology to identify where the heat is hiding below ground.
“We will be judged by how well we leave this fire for the local district and residents. Mop up is hard dirty work. But it’s critically important to do it well. When we mop up right, we can hand the fire back to the local district knowing the perimeter will hold,” said Team 2 Incident Commander Chris Cline.
Seventy-five people attended the public meeting last night at the Chinook Store, in Culver. The residents were very appreciative of their local volunteer firefighters and the efforts of the Incident Management Team. Lake Chinook Fire Chief Don Colfels encouraged local residents to create 30 feet of defensible space around their homes to help it survive a wildfire.
Resources on the fire today are 7 hand crews, 5 helicopters, 13 engines, 1 dozer, 3 water tenders and 307 personnel.
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Central Oregon Fire Info: https://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com