Weather change could fuel Chetco Bar Fire; Governor plans visit

Crews working the Chetco Bar Fire receive their Friday update. Courtesy: U.S. Forest Service

Brookings, Ore.- The U.S. Forest Service revealed Friday morning there are now nearly 1,400 people working to control the Chetco Bar Fire burning about five miles northeast of Brookings.

The fire grew to about 102,333 acres overnight Thursday. There is currently no containment.

Thursday, clear skies allowed aviation resources to drop retardant and water along containment lines on the western and southwestern portions of the fire. Throughout the night, hand crews and dozers worked to build direct and indirect containment lines and patrol fire activity near homes.

The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for the Chetco Bar Fire area. Strong, gusty winds  and low relative humidity are expected to begin about 7 p.m. Friday and last through 11 a.m. Saturday. The change in the weather means fire fuels will be drier and more prone to catching fire. In preparation for the unfavorable weather conditions, known as the “Chetco Effect”, the Forest Service says fire managers plan to take advantage of every opportunity to use aviation resources.

Level 1, 2, and 3 Evacuation Levels are in effect for the Chetco Bar Fire. A map of the evacuation area can be viewed here.

Friday afternoon, Oregon Governor Kate Brown plans to meet with state and local officials fighting the Chetco Bar Fire. NBC5 News will be at the press availability and will provide updates as they become available.


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