Shingle Fire at 50 percent containment, some evacuations still active

Image by Brett Barrett, St, George News

KANE COUNTY – The 8,200-acre Shingle Fire is currently 50 percent contained. Evacuees from the Swains Creek subdivision were allowed to return home Saturday, though other evacuations remain in effect.

Firefighters have pioneered in lines around the entire fire perimeter Saturday and will work on improving and securing these lines over the next two to three days.

Firelines along the southeast flank of the fire continue to be difficult to improve due to rugged terrain and heavy concentrations of fuels.  According to Operations Section Chief Kevin Stock, the most difficult terrain for holding fire lines is in Stout Canyon.

The area received little precipitation and is still “bone dry.”  The forecast for the next two days will bring an increase in temperatures, with the relative humidity dropping down into the upper teens to mid-twenties, testing these firelines.

With drier weather, the fire will be able to spot up to 0.2 miles away during the afternoon, so crews will be working hard to try to hold this fire at 8,200 acres.

Firefighters on the northeast flank and the west flank continue to hold the fireline and are proceeding with mop-up.  Sunday they started rehabilitation work such as water-barring containment lines and repairing fences in these areas.

Evacuations and road restrictions

Evacuation orders remain in effect for Stout Canyon subdivisions, portions of Ponderosa Village and Harris Flats subdivisions south of state Highway 14.

Road closures and evacuation requirements are assessed daily by the Kane County Sherriff’s Department and the Central Oregon Incident Management team with their primary concern being public and firefighter safety.

A large are remains restricted to public access due to ongoing fire operations. Travelers on state Highways 14 and 89 are reminded to be extremely cautious at all times.

The affected area is outlined below:

  • All National Forest System lands, including roads and trails, within the area bounded by Highway 14 east to Highway 89, south along Highway 89 to the forest boundary, west along the forest boundary to Shingle Mill Canyon, northwest up Shingle Mill Canyon (Forest Service road 1549) to closed FS road number 3171, north along this road to the Swains Creek Road (FS road 060), then northerly along the Swains Creek Road to Highway 14.

The Shingle Fire began on July 1, and is human-caused and under investigation.

There have been four injuries to firefighters during fire operations, though none caused by the fire itself. The incidents have involved a twisted ankle, a disabling and infected “boot blister,” altitude sickness, and an arm laceration caused by an idling chainsaw.

Over 870 personnel are currently involved in fire operations.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com
Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright 2012 St. George News

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