Brattain Fire Grows

A view from behind Paisley Saturday evening glowed from the Brattain Fire.

As of Tuesday, the Brattain Fire burning south of Paisley had grown to 34,151 acres and 15% contained. Gov. Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act for the fire as well as the Lake County Commissioners declaring a state of emergency. The U.S. Forest Service reported that the fire was human-caused but has not released further specifics on how the blaze was started.

The fire is burning in sagebrush-juniper with stringers of Ponderosa pine in steep, rugged terrain with limited access points and high winds, according to the USFS. Firefighting crews have been operating on a 24-hour schedule and are battling winds and extremely dry conditions.

On Sunday, Sept. 13, firing operations to protect Paisley and surrounding areas were successful in preparation for the Red Flag Warning for strong, gusty winds and low relative humidity, USFS noted. Erratic winds hampered control efforts along Hwy. 31, causing a temporary road closure and a few spot fires, all of which were under control Monday.

Eastern Area Incident Management Team transitioned control with local fire management Monday, allowing for more resources to be assigned to the fire.

Firefighters continued to monitor and patrol Sunday’s firing operation to protect the community of Paisley and surrounding areas on the north/northeastern perimeter of the fire.

Additional firing operations to defend control lines were planned, dependent on weather conditions. Firefighters were also focused on securing fire lines and checking on residences on the southern portion of the fire, which grew significantly Sunday night.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office issued the following evacuation notices:

- Level 3 (Go) “All of Paisley, from Red House Lane (north of Paisley)to Government Harvey Road, south on Hwy 31 to Valley Falls/the junction with U.S. Hwy 395; All of Clover Flat Road from the intersection with Hwy 31 (Beachler’s Corner) south to Valley Falls.

The Red Cross has an evacuation area at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeview at 1900 N. 4th St. Fire information is available there as well. The location has also served as a haven for Rogue Valley residents who were displaced by fires in that area.

The Fremont-Winema National Forest issued emergency fire closure order 06-02-03-20-03 for the area east Forest Road 28 and south of Forest Road 29

(Government Harvey). Forest Road 29 is closed; Forest Road 28 remains open. Forest Road 33 is closed at the Forest Boundary south of Paisley to the junction with Forest Road 28. Forest Road 3510, which makes the southern edge of the closure area is closed, as is Forest Road 3510-018 from Clover Flat Road to the Forest Boundary, and Forest Road 3315 at the intersection with Mill Street in Paisley. All recreation sites within the closure area are closed.

Paisley schools were closed Monday, Sept. 14 and Tuesday, Sept. 15 for safety. People traveling on Hwy. 31 should anticipate congestion due to fire traffic. Motorists are asked to use caution and to avoid the area if possible.

For more information, call 541-947-6243.

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