Public Information Phone: (541) 825-3724 (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Friday was a good day on the 20,804 acre Stouts Creek Fire just south of Tiller, Oregon, and firefighters made significant progress on every flank of the fire. Burnout operations to the North along Hatchet Creek and to the east near Milepost 33 of the Tiller-Trail Hwy went well during the afternoon and will continue into the night.
Helicopters were visible dipping from the South Umpqua River and making repeated bucket drops along the Hatchet Creek drainage, supporting firefighters as they held the fire within contingency lines. That work will continue into the night. West of Milepost 33 on the Tiller-Trail Hwy, firefighters began a burnout on three knobs this afternoon, to bring the fire down the hills slowly and at their pace. This burnout will help Saturday’s planned burnout in the same area, to keep flames low to the ground and burning slowly.
Fire managers warn, however, that this burnout activity, along with the fire’s normal spread, will likely put smoke into Tiller, along the South Umpqua River and down the Tiller-Trail Hwy and in Drew. “The smoke could be a problem,” said Incident Commander John Buckman, “especially late tonight and early in the morning, for people with health issues or for anyone driving in those areas.” The public is asked to use extreme caution when driving in smoky areas and watch out for each other and fire equipment.
Besides the northeast and east sides of the fire, the rest is in varying end stages of firefighting: some are completing fireline dug by hand, others are seeing progress with the use of a significant amount of heavy equipment, while the northwestern and western perimeters are being aggressively mopped-up and have very little fire activity.
The Upper Cow Creek Road and Milo area, as well as a small area along the Tiller-Trail Highway north of Trail in Jackson County, are under a Level 1 (Ready) evacuation alert. Drew (MP 28 to 39) remains at Level 2 (Set).
The fire is 25 percent contained. Over 1,500 personnel are assigned to the fire suppression effort.
The cost of suppression so far is $12.1 million.
The Stouts Creek Fire is burning on private timberlands, other tracts of private land, Bureau of Land Management and Umpqua National Forest lands.
The Stouts Creek Fire is being managed cooperatively by the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Office of the Oregon State Fire Marshal and the U.S. Forest Service. Wildland fire suppression