The Big Windy fire flared Wednesday afternoon consuming an additional 20 acres before an air attack from Oregon Department of Forestry helicopters stymied its growth.
The flare up occurred in a deep canyon where Howard Creek and Anna Creek converge, an area where there are no fire lines. The area is unsafe to send fire crews into because of the rugged terrain and inaccessibility. Using helicopters is the most effective way to contain flare-ups in the deep remote canyons within the Big Windy complex.
Today crews will monitor the flare-up and, if necessary, dispatch helicopter water drops to cool hotspots.
More than 120 firefighters are assigned to the Big Windy and continue the task of mopping up around the perimeter of the 25,775 acre fire that is listed as 90 percent contained. The Department of Forestry is hoping for full containment by early October.
The Illinois River Road re-opened yesterday. An ongoing assessment by fire operations personnel has shown the Labrador Fire displaying minimal activity. Although the fire has no containment lines around it, fire behavior has moderated sufficiently to allow public access to the popular recreation area.
The Labrador Fire area is currently showing just a few isolated interior smokes. However, fire danger is expected to remain extreme through the weekend; anyone visiting the area should be cautious. A small staff of firefighters and equipment will continue to patrol the area this weekend and beyond to keep a watch on fire behavior.