Containment of the Bruler Fire burning northeast of Sweet Home has more than doubled since the weekend, with crews making progress on mop up efforts around the perimeter. The fire is now considered 53% contained and its size remains listed at 195 acres.
Tuesday marked the final day that the fire was managed by Northwest Incident Management Team 13, which has been assigned to the fire since July 14, two days after it was detected in the Willamette National Forest lands between Green Peter Reservoir and the community of Detroit. Now, the fire will be managed by a Type 3 Incident Management Team, a sign that crews feel they’ve made enough progress to contain the fire.
An infrared flight over the fire on Sunday revealed areas of high heat within the fire perimeter, allowing crews to focus on directly attacking those areas. While perimeter and contingency lines have already been laid and the fire has remained within these lines, further work continues to bolster the containment lines on the west side of the fire.
This week marks the first time that officials are reporting worsening air quality for surrounding communities. However, a press release by the incident management team states that the smoke moving into the area is predominantly from forest fires burning in Southern Oregon. Officials estimate that skies will start to clear up by next weekend. Air quality measures on Oregon Smoke Blog show readings as “good” in both Detroit and Sweet Home.
An extensive closure is still in place while crews combat the fire, including roads and recreation sites along the Quartzville Recreation Corridor, the Middle Santiam Wilderness, and the Old Cascade Crest trail system.
Troy Shinn covers healthcare, natural resources and the Linn County government. He can be reached at 541-812-6114 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be found on Twitter at @troydshinn.