Smith River Complex North update for September 25, 2023

Size: 94,508 acres (12,460 ac. in Oregon)
Location: Grants Pass, OR
Cause: Lightning
Containment: 85%
Start date: August 15, 2023
Total personnel: 1,199

Resources: 26 crews, 6 helicopters, 29 engines, 8 dozers, 17 water tenders, 4 masticators, 1 Skid Steer
Today’s Activities: Fire managers are monitoring the progress of the weather system that is predicted to be in full force today and lasting into Tuesday. Heavy rains are predicted; flood warnings and a wind advisory will also be in effect. This impending event has implications for the safety of firefighters, contractors and support staff. Operational contingencies are in place that include directing fire personnel to stand down for safety for up to 24 hours until weather conditions improve. Firefighters remain prepared to respond to natural resource related hazards, such as downed trees, rock falls and mudslides.
Evacuations: The Josephine County Sheriff has set the evacuation status to Level 1-BE READY. Levels will be reevaluated on a recurring basis. This includes the area west of US-199 in Josephine County, including the community of O’Brien and to the Oregon-California border. Monitor the Rogue Valley Emergency Management site and also sign up for evacuation alerts, updates and an interactive Fire First Response Map with evacuation areas is available at a link below.
Area Closures: A closure is in place on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest for Forest Road 1106 (South Elk Mountain Road), Forest Road 1205 (Lower Wheeler Road), and Forest Road 1983 (Mt. Emily Road) until October 31, 2023 or until rescinded. The closure allows for safe operations related to the Smith River Complex North. Closures on BLM land are in place as well. Visit bit.ly/RRSNFAlerts or https://www.blm.gov/orwafire for additional information.
Road Closures and Delays: Caltrans in Del Norte County issued a schedule of road closures and lane restrictions on US-199. Weekdays will have a combination of road closure and lane restrictions. Over the weekend, the road will remain open, but with lane restrictions and pilot cars. Expect delays. For specific information on road access, please see the Caltrans QuickMap site https://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ and Oregon Department of Transportation’s https://www.tripcheck.com/. Local law enforcement cautions against any non-essential traffic along this route. Navigation apps and mapping programs have been routing travelers into active fire areas. Do not use forest roads as alternate routes.

Restrictions: Please respect the temporary flight restriction (TFR) established for the Smith River Complex. Keep drones away from firefighting operations and the TFR. If you fly, we can’t. Don’t be the reason a firefighting air mission has to divert! For more information on the TFR, visit https://tfr.faa.gov/.