Josephine County, Ore. — The Garner Complex Fire burning in Josephine County is now 75% contained and nearly 9,000 acres in size. Crews said they are focusing on mopping up hot spots and restoration as they reach full containment.
“Crews are out there looking for heat inside the fire line, going out 300 feet, just making sure it’s nice and secure and cooling all of it down,” said Al Devos, Oregon Department of Forestry.
Around 1,500 people are working to suppress the Garner Complex Fire in Josephine County.
“We’re not going to stop doing the mop up until we’re confident that everything within that fire line is going to stay in there,” Devos said.
As the fire reaches full containment, crews are focusing on mop-up.
“So they’ll come in here and they’ll feel around and see if they feel any heat if they suspect it,” Devos said.
Crews are also focusing on restoration.
“We’re trying to put things back to normal, so where dozer lines cross certain places and trees had to be cut down and brush is stacked up – they’re coming around and removing the brush, repairing some of those dozer scars,” Devos said.
Both can be repetitive tasks that can, at times, also be dangerous.
“They’re covering all of the terrain – and a lot of times, they have to do it over and over – so they have a circuit to go around until it’s totally cool,” Devos said.
ODF said it’s diligent with mop-up procedures because of recent weather activity.
“Our fuels really dried out. So one thing we noticed here is a lot of logs and stumps, fire is still smoldering deep, and so we just need to be really thorough because some of those roots will smolder and our goal is to keep it so it can’t spread outside the fire line until the next rain or until fire season is over,” Devos said.
Crews plan to have this fire fully contained, one week from now. Once they finish mopping up hot spots and the fire reaches full containment, they’ll hand it over to local ODF crews, who will monitor and maintain the burn scars to make sure nothing flares up.
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