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Fires in and near Bull of the Woods Wilderness
Bryon Boyce
Clackamas River
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08/06/2021 - 7:14 am
Member Since: 01/24/2010
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The Janus, Cola and Ridge Fires are in the southeast corner of the Bull of the Woods Wilderness in the Janus Butte area.  Two more fires are the Round Lake and Ogre Creek Fires, located in the Round Lake area east of the Bull of the Woods Wilderness. All are being managed as one fire, called the Bull Complex.

The Janus Fire is about 350 acres and is actively spreading. All the others are small, but only the Round Lake and Ogre Creek Fires are being fought at the moment. Planning to fight the other three is ongoing. 

It is very uncertain about what to expect, with weather short-term a little wet and cool, but getting sunny and warming to around 90 up there by the middle of next week.
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7773/

Rob Williams
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08/06/2021 - 2:57 pm
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Thanks for posting this.  Lets hope it doesn't grow too large.  Too much of the Bull has already burned....

If you want to see the fire overlaid on a topo map (instead of the horrible map that inciweb uses), you can see it here:

http://trailadvocate.org/MapVi.....&z=14

That will display the fire perimeter of the various blazes relatively centered on the page.

Theobob
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08/13/2021 - 10:55 pm
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I was up on Rho Ridge Friday afternoon... I came in from the north via 4670. It was pretty smoky, and bad enough that I could barely see Sisi Butte. 

I had planned on walking up the decommissioned road next to Fawn Meadow and across the ridge to see across the backside of the hill and into the Collawash valley. I was just about to leave 6350 road and go into the meadow area when a truck came down the road. A man flagged me down and asked what the heck I was doing up here. He said he was part of the fire crew and recommended that I head back down the hill, please. I said okay, and went back north on the ridge.

When I got back to the 46 and 4690 (Olallie lake road) junction I chatted a bit with the USFS staff that was posted at the barrier. I could see that a fire basecamp had been set up in the Squirrel quarry area. As we chatted quite a few vehicles went in and out. They're pretty busy. He said that they were going to move the barriers Sunday and close off the access to 46 from 4690. He said that it would be closed until the fire situation was dealt with. 

So, it looks like the upper Clackamas valley and BOTW will be closed for a while...  It was fun while it lasted... 

Ted

p.s. Sorry I missed Doug's post of the closure order...   

Here's a bonus: There is now some gear installed to count radio tags in fish across Pinhead Creek just above where it cuts under 46 now. I suspect that it is a continuation of the bull trout reintroduction program. I am glad that nobody can mess with their equipment now...  probably the only good thing about this closure...

Rob Williams
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08/14/2021 - 6:37 am
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Ted:

I'm assuming 42 is still closed where they are replacing the bridge?  It was scheduled to be closed until the end of August, but I guess it doesn't really matter now.  The only thing you can get to is Olallie now.  I understand the closure but it is a bummer....

From the map, it looks like they've dealt with all the little spot fires - those no longer even show up on the map - even around Round Lake - the only thing that shows is around Janus Butte which was always the largest piece.  Hopefully they get a handle on it.  Looks like it is getting VERY close to where it burned in the BOTW fire from 2010:

JanusButteFire20210814.jpg

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Theobob
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08/14/2021 - 5:53 pm
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I saw the lower 42 closure from the 46 road. It was closed about 100 feet up 42...

The Elk Lake Eastern trailhead is probably the only good access to the fire area. I would expect a containment fireline on the Elk Lake trail.

When I look at the map you just posted I realized how close the fire is getting to the "Bridge to Nowhere"... I always liked that place...   and of course that means the "OhBoy Forest Camp" artifact is now at risk too. I was there a few years back. I bushwhacked my way in and then found the much easier trail out...  Seems that happens to me a lot...   

Looks like the fire has grown by about 300 acres in the last day...  now up to almost 1200 acres. ugh.

Rob Williams
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08/16/2021 - 4:42 pm
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I just checked the map today and it hopped Elk Lake Creek and it has burned all the way up the Schreiner and a bunch of stuff that burned in 2010 as well as some areas untouched from the 2010 burn.  3800 acres and counting.  Ugh.

JanusButteFire20210816.jpg

Theobob
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08/17/2021 - 3:51 pm
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The fire has crossed the East fork of the Collawash, and is headed up towards Rho Ridge. It was bad enough heading west, but now it is headed east also...   Looks like it is boxing in the Bridge to Nowhere...

Once again, ugh...

8-17-2021.JPG

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Rob Williams
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08/18/2021 - 6:58 am
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I thought they would use 6370 as a firebreak?  I wonder if they did and it jumped it or if they are planning to use something else.  It has grown quite a bit in the last few days.  Ugh is right.

BrianEdwards
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08/25/2021 - 11:43 pm
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74724C37-0468-4A05-AE03-9154847225CB.jpegLots of rain happening up there tonight. Hopefully no lightning with it

Theobob
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08/27/2021 - 7:13 pm
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Rob Williams
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09/03/2021 - 6:56 am
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The fire continues to grow - currently a bit over 11,000 acres now - it seems like it has burned pretty much the entire area that burned in 2010 and 2011 as well as a lot of new area.  It is getting pretty close to BOTW lookout, although I read they were going to do water drops, etc to protect the lookout if it got close (since they couldn't wrap it).  It also appears to have burned the other side of Hawk Mtn now.  I had kind of expected it to settle down a bit with the cooler weather we've been having but it just seems to keep creeping larger.

https://www.trailadvocate.org/MapViewer.html?b=2&ll=44.86357,-121.99734&o1=24&o2=26&z=13

Joe Keller
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09/06/2021 - 3:08 pm
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Today's Facebook posting by the Mt. Hood NF says that the lookout tower on Bull of the Woods burned up yesterday.  

https://www.facebook.com/mthoodnf/

Rob Williams
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09/06/2021 - 5:31 pm
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Joe Keller said
Today's Facebook posting by the Mt. Hood NF says that the lookout tower on Bull of the Woods burned up yesterday.  

https://www.facebook.com/mthoodnf/  

That is so sad.  I guess the only thing that makes it sting a little less is knowing that since it hadn't had ANY maintenance on it whatsoever it was probably going to fall down soon anyway.   More history just fades away....

Theobob
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09/06/2021 - 5:43 pm
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Yeah, I saw the recent maps and figured that it was sadly the case...  Here's the info sheet

I was up around the Olallie lake area last week. Wednesday and  Thursday nights just after sunset I went to where the powerlines cross Skyline and was able to see across the valley. On Wed I could see the smoke plumes rising and the glow of fires in the smoke across the ridge. Thursday night I was able to see active flames and had a feeling that they were now across Rho ridge. At times they were just small dots of orange, but at others they grew up into the sky as what I would guess were entire trees being engulfed.

The dots were spaced out horizontally and fairly evenly at equal altitude across the ridge, and I wondered if it was intentional. Apparently (by their reports) they had ignited the hillside above 6350 towards the ridge as a containment line.

(from 9/3 report) -->> "Yesterday, light easterly winds allowed firefighters to complete tactical burnouts on the eastern side of the fire, along Rhododendron Ridge.  The fire then moved slowly, under desirable conditions, towards the main fire at a reduced intensity.  This will achieve containment of the eastern edge more effectively and safely for firefighters."

As much as I don't like losing this part of the ridge, I do realize that this will reduce the chance that the fire could spread eastwards and down into the Cub Creek and Clackamas basin. It shows by the progression map that they lit the uphill side of the road from Fawn Meadow south to where the Lionshead fire got to on  6350 last year to gain an eastern perimeter edge. The corner where the new burn ends is where I saw the northmost signs of last year's fire on the road earlier this year. South past Hunter Creek is down to the 4671/6355 junction was burnt pretty well last year. Unlikely fire can spread across there...

Rho-Sept-3-burn.JPG

On happier notes:

The (easy) trail to Russ Lake and the PCT north from there is in very fine shape. There is an active unmarked spring flowing quite well across the PCT above Olallie meadow, and I do like that fresh cold running water at 4500 ft+ altitude in late summer.

The Ponderosa trail going southwest from Olallie Meadows is closed at just past the powerlines.

I sent a very large trout back into Olallie Lake Thursday evening. Although the resort area is busy, the other end of the lake is super quiet...

IMG_20210902_183623269_HDR.jpg

Bryon Boyce
Clackamas River
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09/21/2021 - 1:44 pm
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We are fortunate for the 2-3 in. of rain that fell on this fire, as its reduced to slow creeping or smouldering stumps and logs, with no crown fires. However, according to the FS map below, it is as close as 700 ft. to Pansy Lake on the east side. Most of the trail to Bull of the Woods has burned. 

What happens next is unknowable and depends on weather. We have had major fires that started in October in years without rainfall.

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=485292c7a3cd4b5ab3d4539162420d4b&extent=-15293678.3364%2C4586960.9504%2C-10597387.3186%2C6859280.9273%2C102100

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