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Brattain Fire Grows but containment is increasing

The Brattain Fire was last estimated at 47,243 acres with 44 percent containment. It is listed as a human-caused fire.

Posted: Sep 12, 2020 12:17 PM
Updated: Sep 19, 2020 10:17 AM

PAISLEY, Ore--

UPDATE: The Brattain fire increased in size overnight, expanding to 47,243 acres and is 44 percent contained.

Fire crews say that after five consecutive days of Red Flag conditions, more erratic winds were brought into the area, but cooler temperatures and increased humidity have helped firefighters in the fight against the flames . Crews made progress in stopping forward progression of the fire on the northwest and southeast corners last night. Around eight helicopters were on the scene to help stop any forward movement.

Crews are continuing to look for hot spots and continue mop-up operations.

Today, the weather is expected to be good,but fire crews do anticipate another active fire day. Firefighters say that the east will be in patrol status and access roads will be open to allow for resource advisors to assess rehabilitation strategies.

Heavy equipment will also continue to improve contingency lines and look for hot spots along the south flank of the fire where fire was seen yesterday.

Here is the latest information on evacuation orders and road closures for the Brattain Fire.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has updated the following evacuation notices:

Level 3 (Go) – Highway 31 from Summer Lake Store south to Red House Lane (north of Paisley). Clover Flat Road from Valley Falls east to Moon Ranch.
Level 2 (Set) – All of Paisley – from Red House Lane, continuing south on Highway 31 to Valley Falls/the junction with U.S. Hwy 395. Clover Flat Road from the intersection with Hwy 31 (Beachler’s Corner) south to Murphy Ranch. From Summer Lake Store north along Highway 31 to the top of Picture Rock Pass.
Level 1 (Ready) – Valley Falls approximately 5 miles south on Hwy 395 to Chandler State Park.

Forest Closure:
From Forest Road 29 southeast to Forest Road 3510 and the 28 Road east, all National Forest System lands and facilities are closed per Forest Closure Order 06-02-03-20-03. Forest Road 3315 is closed; the 28 Road is open.

(Updated 9/19/20 at 10 a.m.)


PAISLEY, Ore--

UPDATE: Fire officials say that evacuation levels have lowered for the town of Paisley, though firefighting efforts on the Brattain Fire continue. There are still Level 3 evacuations in place for certain areas.

"The Brattain Fire continues to be active on the north and southeast sides due to erratic winds. If you don’t need to be in the area, please leave now," fire officials said in an update on Thursday afternoon. "Highway 31 is open, but prepared for traffic congestion, delays and increased fire traffic. Please use caution driving in the area."

The Brattain Fire was last estimated at 44,800 acres with 20 percent containment. It is listed as a human-caused fire.

In a morning update, fire officials said that more aircraft, engines and hotshot crews have arrived on the fire lines. Crews have used old burn scars, natural breaks, roads, and dozer lines to secure the northwest area of the fire — including lines from the recent Ben Young Fire.

Thursday is another "critical day" for crews, officials said, because a Red Flag Warning is in effect for the afternoon. A break in the weather is anticipated for Friday.

"In the north and east along Hwy 31, containment lines are holding nicely, and crews will continue to monitor and patrol looking for any hotspots," officials said. "Fire officials have been moving resources from these secured areas over to the south and west side of the fire. Fire behavior and accessibility should allow crews to continue direct attack in the southern area of the fire with handcrews, engines and dozers."

Here are the latest details on evacuations:

Level 3

  • Highway 31 from Summer Lake Store south to Red House Lane (north of Paisley).
  • Clover Flat Road from Valley Falls east to Moon Ranch.

Level 2

  • All of Paisley – from Red House Lane (north of Paisley), continuing south on Highway 31 to Valley Falls/the junction with U.S. Hwy 395.
  • Clover Flat Road from the intersection with Hwy 31 (Beachler’s Corner) south to Murphy Ranch.
  • From Summer Lake Store north along Highway 31 to the top of Picture Rock Pass.

Level 1

  • Valley Falls approximately 5 miles south on Hwy 395 to Chandler State Park.

(Updated 9/17/20 at 2:30 p.m.)


UPDATE: Task forces mobilized by the Oregon State Fire Marshal's office arrived in Paisley on Tuesday morning following Governor Kate Brown's Conflagration Act declaration.

"The Brattain Fire in Lake County is currently threatening lives, structures and property as it moves closer to Paisley. Forecasters yesterday had issued a Red Flag Warning for strong, gusty winds and low relative humidity," OSFM said.

OSFM said that three task forces — two from different Oregon agencies and a third from Idaho — are on the scene today, helping crews already in the area.

As of Tuesday morning, fire officials said that a containment line had been established on the northeastern area of the fire along Highway 31, with patrols working on this and the eastern side to reinforce line and protect property. Dozers were able to make "significant progress" on the south end of the fire.

"The most significant fire growth occurred on the northwest perimeter as the fire crossed the Chewaucan River in the evening," fire officials said. "Additional fire resources were assigned to this area due to fire spread."

Fire crews expect more gusty winds on Tuesday afternoon and evening as more resources arrive on the scene. Forest Road 3510 and Clover Flat Road are being prepped as holding lines and mop up work will continue on the south and southwest perimeters.

"Establishing containment lines and structure protection are a priority in the northwest region of the fire," officials said.

The Brattain Fire was estimated at 34,151 acres and 15 percent containment as of Tuesday morning.

(Updated 9/15/20 at 12 p.m.)


UPDATE: Governor Kate Brown has approved an emergency conflagration declaration for the Brattain Fire near Paisley.

"The situation remains very dangerous in Paisley," said Brown. "Wind continues to fuel these wildfires, with devastating consequences across the region. People’s homes, lives, land, and safety are at risk. If you're in the evacuation zone, please stay vigilant. Pay close attention and listen to local calls to evacuate as needed — this can save your life, your family and the lives of our firefighters."

The Emergency Conflagration Act can be invoked when a "threat to life, safety, and property" exists due to a fire, exceeding local firefighters' ability to respond. It allows the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office to send in additional resources.

(Updated 9/14/20 at 7:15 p.m.)


UPDATE: Evacuation orders in Lake County have expanded on Monday as fire officials warn of "erratic winds" driving the Brattain Fire.

"The Brattain Fire is active on both the north and south ends due to erratic winds. If you don’t need to be in the area, please leave now," the U.S. Forest Service said in a statement.

Officials said that Highway 31 is open, but be prepared for traffic congestions, delays, and increased fire traffic. Please use caution driving in the area.

The Red Cross has an evacuation area at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeview (1900 North 4th St.). There is fire information there as well.

Here are the evacuation levels as of Monday afternoon:

  • Level 3 "GO" evacuation orders: Highway 31 from Government Harvey Road (Forest Road 29) south to include all of Paisley – from Red House Lane (north of Paisley), continuing south on Highway 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. West of Highway 31 to Forest Road 28.
  • Level 2 "Be Set" evacuation warnings: From Government Harvey Road/Forest Road 29 north to Summer Lake Store.
  • Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation notices: From Summer Lake Store north along Highway 31 to the top of Picture Rock Pass. Abert Lake area southeast on 395, south on Highway 31 to Chandler State approximately 5 miles south of Valley Falls.

(Updated 9/14/20 at 3:45 p.m.)


UPDATE: Fire crews continue to work on protecting the town of Paisley from the Brattain Fire, which is now estimated at 30,000 acres with no containment.

Officials say that the Brattain Fire burns about 10 miles south of Paisley in steep, rugged terrain dominated by sagebrush-juniper and Ponderosa Pine. There are limited access points to the fire, and persistent high winds.

"Firefighting crews continue to operate on a 24-hour schedule and are battling winds and extremely dry conditions," the U.S. Forest Service said.

On Sunday, crews worked to on controlled burns to protect Paisley and nearby areas in preparation for a Red Flag Warning. Stiff and unpredictable winds stymied efforts along Highway 31, causing a temporary road closure and a handful of spot fires — all considered under control as of Monday.

"The Eastern Area Incident Management Team transitioned with local fire management today, allowing for more resources to be assigned to the fire," officials said. "Firefighters continue to monitor and patrol yesterday’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 are planned if weather conditions allow. Efforts to secure fire lines and check on residences on the southern portion of the fire will also be a primary focus as the fire grew in this area overnight."

Another Red Flag Warning is in effect on Monday until 9 p.m., with a Fire Weather Watch in place for Tuesday.

Paisley and several other areas remain under a Level 3 evacuation, with areas to the north on a Level 1 notice.

(Updated 9/14/20 at 12:30 p.m.)


UPDATE: The Brattain Fire has grown by more than 12,000 acres since yesterday and is now at 20,000 acres and is zero percent contained.

Firefighters say that it has been a challenge today to combat the fire because of the strong and gusty winds, as well as the low relative humidity that has created a Red Flag Warning that is in place until 11:00 tonight. Officials say that they expect similar conditions tomorrow.

Fire officials say that the fire is around 10 miles south of Paisley and has forced multiple evacuations in the area.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) has issued a Level 3 (Go) evacuation notice for all residents of Paisley: The Red House Lane (north of Paisley), South on Highway 31 to Clover Flat Road onto Clover Flat Road to Forest Service Road 3510 (Moss Pass Road), all of Paisley, from Red House Lane (north of Paisley), south on Highway 31 to Valley Falls/the junction with U.S. Hwy 395 and all of Clover Flat Road from the intersection with Hwy 31 (Beachler’s Corner) south to Valley Falls.

A Level 1 (Be Ready) evacuation has been put in place from Red House Lane north along Hwy 31 to the intersection with Government Harvey Road/Forest Road 29.

The Red Cross has established an evacuation center at the Lake County Fairgrounds.

All Paisley schools are closed from September 14-15.

(Updated 9/13/20 at 7:20 p.m.)


UPDATE: The Brattain Fire is currently 8,000 acres with no containment.

A Level 3 Evacuation order has been issued for the Paisley area. This is for public safety as fire operations focus on protecting the City of Paisley and outlying residences ahead of upcoming weather, including a Red Flag Warning tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Red Cross is establishing an evacuation center at the Lake County Fairgrounds.

(Updated 9/12/20 @ 3:03 p.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: The Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) has issued a Level 3 (Go) evacuation notice for the Brattain Fire Southwest of Paisley. The Level 3 “Go” notice is for all residents of Paisley. From Red House Lane (north of Paisley), South on Highway 31 to Clover Flat Road onto Clover Flat Road to Forest Service Road 3510 (Moss Pass Road).

The Red Cross is establishing an evacuation area at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeview (1900 North 4th St.). There will be fire information there as well.

For those in the evacuation area, it is anticipated there will be congestion on Hwy 31, fire traffic and temporary loss of power. Please use caution leaving the area.

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