The Canyon Creek Complex fire jumped to 85,960 acres, an increase of 11,311 acres from Wednesday.
The 134-square-mile fire is 44 percent contained.
Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer confirmed this morning one building, not a main dwelling, on Indian Creek was lost yesterday. They are still trying to notify the owner. The burned area will be inspected today to determine if any other structures were lost or damaged in the Pine Creek and Indian Creek areas.
The fire burned very active Wednesday night, and flames were visible for miles. Fire personnel said Thursday morning that the fire burned mainly to the east, mostly into the wilderness. Resources were shifted and staged in both areas of Pine Creek and Indian Creek. Dozer and hand lines were built around the Johnson Ranch for protection.
Late afternoon winds, along with dry conditions, caused long range spotting north of Indian Creek. The fire moved down Pine Creek, triggering evacuations. Resources responded quickly, and additional aircraft arrived on scene.
Fire activity also became very active in the Indian Creek Butte area, adding to the large smoke column that appeared in the afternoon.
Nearly 100,000 gallons of retardant were dropped by 10 air tankers on the Pine Creek and Indian Creek areas Wednesday night. Helicopters were unable to assist in this area due to turbulence and heavy air tanker activity. However, they were used on Canyon Mountain hot spots.
The weather forecast for Thursday is similar to Wednesday’s weather. A red flag warning is in effect for Thursday, with winds expected from the southwest, gusting 20 to 25 mph. The Haines Index has been adjusted to a 5, and humidity is expected to be critically low again, in the single digits. Wednesday’s humidity was 9 percent.
Three structural tasks forces from the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office arrived Thursday to assist with structure protection. The National Guard unit will be on the southeast corner of the fire, near Roads End.
Evacuation levels remain the same as last night.
Level 3 Evacuations:
• Upper Pine Creek from Berry Ranch Lane and Dean Creek/Baldy Mt. Upper Dog Creek
• South of Little Dog Creek Gardner Ranch Lane
• Upper Indian Creek Road from the Y (51 Junction) south
• The area west of County Road 62, south of the forest boundary (mile post 12) and north of the 16 to the junction of Forest Roads 15/16
* County Road 62 and the 16 are open for through travel, at this time. Forest closures remain in effect.
Level 2 evacuations:
• Lower Pine Creek
• Lower Dog Creek
• Lower Indian Creek
• From J – L south to the end of County Road 65.
• Homeowners on the lower Little Canyon Mountain Trail area can access their homes.
• The 15 road remains closed.
• South from Dog Creek to Little Dog Creek is open for residents and fire traffic only.