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Big Windy Crews Form Contingency Lines

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GLENDALE, Ore. — The Douglas Complex is completely boxed in by a contingency line.

“It has about a six mile contingency line that they are currently working on today where they are burning out back towards the fire,” Public Information Officer, Tin O’Donnell, said.

Douglas Complex fire crews have been building contingency lines for a while and now the fire is reaching

“We still need to button up a couple more areas, do a little more burnout in some pockets of some areas that didn’t actually burn yet to make sure that is all controlled before you raise that percentage,

The Douglas Complex shares a contingency line with the Big Windy fire over the mountain. Fire crews there say due to the rugged terrain they have not been able to get to the fireline and fight the fire directly. Because of this, they are building contingency lines as their next best option.

“We look at the primary line and how we are going to hold something,” Big Windy Incident Commander, Ed Lewis, said.  “We certainly look at alternatives out there, then we go to contingencies and ultimately emergencies.”

One big emergency crews are worried about is the fire jumping the Rogue River. They say given certain weather conditions, this is a possibility.

“This fire is by no means laying there ready to be captured,” Lewis added. “If we were talking some time in September or October, the conversation would be different but we are in the heart of fire season now. Although we’ve had some moisture to kind of put it to sleep for a little, it’s a sleeping giant.”

Lewis says once Big Windy hits the contingency lines built, we’ll will start to see containment numbers increase.

With containment growing at the Douglas Complex, fire crews are being sent home or to other fires. Big Windy says they are sending a few crews home but not many. They are still waiting to put low intensity fires on the ground to create depth and secure Big Windy.