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Smoky conditions aid firefighting on South Umpqua Complex Fire

August 8, 2018

Equipment is used near a creek for structure protection on Upper Elk Creek Road.

Smoky conditions over the last couple days have allowed firefighters to make progress on control lines and spot fires in the South Umpqua Complex, which has grown to nearly 29,000 acres and is 18 percent contained.

However, the smoky conditions limited air operations over the weekend because of low visibility.

On Sunday, Oregon State Fire Marshal’s task forces installed sprinkler kits on 50 homes in the Elk Creek Road area as a precautionary measure. On Tuesday, crews will continue to assess homes west of Prospect to determine where defensible space work is needed. Crews also strengthened control lines and mopped up spot fires that started over the weekend near the Miles Fire.

On Monday, the Columbus Fire was more active along the eastern edge, while the western portion of the fire remained calm. The fire is burning toward an area that was burned in the High Cascades Fire last year and crews are hoping to use a portion of the scar as a control line.

Last week, the now 24,708-acre Miles Fire and 8,729-acre Sugar Pine Fire merged, encompassing a swath of land of the Jackson and Douglas County border.

A high-pressure system will remain across the region until Thursday. As the pressure builds, temperatures are expected to rise along with drier afternoon humidity.

A community meeting is scheduled on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Tiller Rural Fire Protection District.

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