Cache Creek fire grows to nearly 20,000 acres

By By Katy Nesbitt The Observer August 23, 2012 07:40 am

U.S. Forest Service photo ó An aerial view Tuesday provides a birdís-eye look at the Cache Creek Fire that is burning in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.

Firefighting continues on the Cache Creek Fire, estimated at 19,480 acres as of this morning. Today's objectives are to minimize fire spread onto private land primarily west and north of the current fire perimeter.

The fire, reported Monday night in Hells Canyon, had multiple air resources assigned by Tuesday morning including water dropping helicopters and retardant planes. By Wednesday afternoon engines were brought in to support fire line and structure protection, primarily the Jim Creek Ranch.

Today's forecast call for temperatures in the mid-80s and 13 to 18 percent humidity. A dry cold front will move through the area this afternoon and ridge top winds will increase with gusts as high as 30 miles per hour. Moderate to poor overnight humidity recovery can be expected through the weekend.

Smokejumpers from Grangeville, Idaho, are on the fire as well as members of the Sled Springs helicopter rappelers crew stationed on the Wallowa Valley District. Forest Service and Oregon Department of Forestry fire engines have been assigned to protect the Jim Creek Ranch near the southern end of the fire. Hand crews, and bulldozers are building fire line in conjunction with helicopter support. Air tankers may be requested if available.

Base camp has been set up at the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo Grounds with spike camps for fire fighters at Frog Pond and Cache Creek.