Bedrock Fire over 6000 acres

As the Bedrock Fire near Fall Creek Reservoir east of Eugene, Oregon burns on the Willamette National Forest, officials are asking the public to help with tips to determine who or what started the fire.

According to a report by KLCC Radio, the fire was called in on Saturday, July 22, and grew to 300 acres by the next day. Crews worked overnight on the fire — and to protect nearby buildings on private land. A Type 2 team took over Sunday evening.

Named for the nearby Middle Fork Ranger District’s Bedrock Campground, the fire put up enough smoke on Tuesday to temporarily pause air ops, but firefighting helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft returned later. Two CL-415s scooped water from Lookout Point Lake, and additional aircraft have been ordered.

Chris Pietsch shot of Erickson Aircrane on the Bedrock Fire.
Chris Pietsch with the Register-Guard caught this superb shot of an Aircrane working the fire.

KEZI-TV reported that crews are building lines along the ridges between Little Cowhorn Mountain and Fawn Peak, and are assessing firelines that remain from previous incidents (including the Cedar Creek Fire) to help in containment.

Fire Behavior Analyst Dean Warner said the fire has been more active than expected in this area for late July. “Fuels are abnormally dry for this time of the season due to drought,” he said. “Drier fuels take less energy to ignite, and burn more rapidly and intensely than wetter fuels.”

Fire crews are working to establish firelines along the ridgelines between Little Cowhorn Mountain and Fawn Peak.

Little Cowhorn Mountain Lookout to the north of Bedrock Fire. The main body of the structure has been wrapped with fire-resistant material.
Little Cowhorn Mountain Lookout to the north of the Bedrock Fire. The main body of the structure has been wrapped by crews with fire-resistant material.

The fire is currently sized at 6,161 acres. Smoke from the fire is spreading into central Oregon, affecting air quality as far east as Bend. Weather conditions are expected to remain hot and dry, which could exacerbate the fire’s spread, according to the Northwest IMT 13 headed up by Brian Gales and Eric Riener, which took over on July 25.

Bedrock Fire map
Bedrock Fire map

Bedrock Fire mapExtreme fire behavior and gusty winds have pushed the fire to rapid growth, and mixed ownership of private and federal lands coupled with old fire scars means a checkerboard of fuel types. Mixed age classes of timber from slash and young managed stands to late seral stage timber are spread across the landscape, with light dry lichen moss draped in the canopies, exacerbating spotting. Steep slopes in the area have encouraged uphill runs, so the fire gets established in crowns and makes for spotting up to ¾ mile from the fire’s edge.

Afternoon winds have driven the fire to spread up drainages — including Alder, Hehe, and Fall creeks to the northeast and in the south at both Andy and Rubble creeks. As fire has moved into old burn scars, the intensity decreases, but abundant fine fuels (likely resulting from this year’s late rainy start to the season) maintain the fire’s spread.

On Thursday, it’s predicted that consistent weather conditions will mean persistent fire growth in the active drainages. Fire spread is predicted to crest the ridgeline in the Hehe drainage.

The origin of the fire is still being investigated. The USFS is requesting any information, tips, photos, or videos of the area from July 22 when the fire started. Anyone with information is asked to email the U.S. Forest Service’s TIP LINE; people with info can also email the Lane County Sheriff’s office or the Willamette National Forest Supervisor’s Office. The Middle Fork office in Westfir is at 541-782-2283.

By Wednesday afternoon the fire was still at zero containment, with over 200 firefighters assigned. Containment’s estimated for the first week of October.

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6 thoughts on “Bedrock Fire over 6000 acres”

  1. Can someone post a link to updates on the Bedrock fire in relation to Oakridge, OR? I’ve never had to evacuate before so am curious how it all works and whatnot. Thanks in advance!

  2. In 2002 on the Biscuit Fire on the Siskiyou National Forest in Southwest Oregon they wrapped the historic Snow Camp Lookout to protect it. The day it burned over the Ops chief flew over it right away to check if it had survived. It was okay. A day or so later it was gone. That’s when they learned that if a wrapped structure is burned over you have to get to it within 30 minutes to check for embers and smoldering under the foil.

  3. Lot$ of mylar on the main lookout, but the gaps in the exposed deck will catch embers and all will be lost if an ember shower hits. It’s sad to see nearly all the structural ignitability recommendations are not met on a very cool historic lookout.

  4. I hope they can protect Indian Ridge Lookout, 8 miles east of the fire. Coordinates 44 00 20.15, -122 15 16.71

    Rex’s Fire lookout site link

    Link to Panoramic Photos taken Aug 22, 1933 note the pack horses in the Southwest View. They packed the Osborne panoramic camera up there. He’s the same Osborne that invented the fire finder. It also looks like there are lots of fire scars and/or logging units in the photos.

    Link to the camera

    Little Cow Horn Lookout is 3 miles north of the fire . Coordinates 44 00 20.15, -122 15 16.71
    Little Cow Horn Lookout Panoramic photos

  5. We keep going through (losing?) mass amounts of the landscape but I rarely- if ever- hear “mosaic” anymore. We always used MIST and worked well with the READs, and archis’. We are now seeing a symbiotic relationship of varied types and ages of independent burn scars and multi entry fire adaptations creating their own ecosystem. Intermixing various fire entry mosaics creates a more consistent low intensity (maybe too low at times) burn across all previous scars at different rates. This randomizes which previous independent ecosystem will burn and to what end. Our ecosystem is designed ingeniously but is very rudimentary in its complexity.


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