The Oregon Lakes fire, burning on military land across the Delta River, expanded over the weekend due to high winds and dry conditions. Listed officially at 19,328 acres and 37 percent contained, estimates were the fire expanded over 10,000 acres, bringing the size to near 30,000 acres. A significant blowup occurred on the fire yesterday afternoon sending a plume of smoke more than 3,000 feet into the air according to some observers. Gusts were reported at 45 mph. Due to weather conditions, no flyover of the fire has been performed.
Crews are continuing to fortify fuel breaks and monitor the fire. The most recent expansion was to the west, taking the fire deeper into military land. Crews are also working on structure protection in the Whitestone, South Bank, and the Richarson-Clearwater subdivisions, as well as military training assets.
Property owners in those subdivisions are asked to contact the Incident Management Team at (208) 254-1130 if they have not spoken to firefighters from the team. Structural protection cannot be done on a property without the property owners’ permission.
The Associated Press reported today that homes were being threatened. A spokesperson for the Type 2 Incident Management Team confirmed that no homes are threatened at this time. The structure protection taking place is precautionary.
A Red Flag warning remains in effect, and winds have begun to shift coming out of the west, which is bringing significant smoke to Delta Junction. Yesterday, the southerly winds pushed the smoke to Salcha and Fairbanks.