Springfield, Ore. – The wind blew, the rain fell, and the lines held on the Holiday Farm Fire. Sustained winds of 15-20 mph with gusts up to 40 mph hit the Willamette Valley and foothills early Wednesday afternoon stirring the embers and fanning flames deep within the interior, but nothing escaped the confines of the fire’s edge. With the Holiday Farm Fire staying put, incident managers were able to divert helicopter support to other fires that started in the nearby area.
As soon as the wind died down the rain began to fall. Overall, about an inch of rain fell on the fire overnight.
A hydrologist from the Medford office of the National Weather Service has been working alongside the incident meteorologist for the past few days. Looking at the fire area from the air and on the ground has revealed no major concerns at this time for large landslides. However, the trifecta of fire, wind and rain has taken its toll on soil conditions, further weakening tree root systems and loosening large debris. The Quartz Creek and Gates Creek watersheds on the east side of the fire sustained the most damage. The hydrologist said that small slides are expected to impact forest roads throughout the winter.
Hazards along Highway 126 still exist. Road crews from ODOT and fire personnel continue to make progress cutting hazard trees and removing large debris from the road surface with heavy equipment. The McKenzie Highway remains closed from milepost 28 east to milepost 38. For more information regarding road closures and delays, visit https://www.oregon.gov/odot/Pages/Wildfire.aspx or www.tripcheck.com.
Despite the rain and cooler conditions, fire season remains in effect. Outdoor debris burning remains prohibited and several other spark emitting activities are restricted. To assure a safe and clean burn of your piles this fall, cover a portion of the piles with plastic to keep it dry for easy ignition later. To learn about fire restrictions in your area please visit https://www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/pages/restrictions.aspx.