Indian Rock Lookout Wrapped

The Crockets Knob Fire was report on August 22, 2022 in the Malheur National Forest. The lookout on Indian Rock in the Malheur National Forest has now been wrapped to protect it from the fire.

In case you can’t read the embedded Facbeook post above, here is what it says:

On Thursday, September 1st, a group of Smokejumpers was assigned to the north edge of #CrocketsKnobFire to wrap the Indian Rock Lookout in heat-resistant fabric.

Wrapping structures for fire protection requires specialized training, especially when the building has historic or cultural importance. The reflective wrap is a specialized fabric that provides a heat barrier and resists combustion. It is estimated that it takes an average of 15,000 staples to secure wrap to a building, all of which will be removed after the danger is past. While protective structure wrap isn’t a guarantee that a building will survive if it is in the direct path of the fire, it offers a better chance at deflecting hot embers and radiant heat from the oncoming flame front.

The Smokejumpers ran into challenges the first few days they were in place, when the fire made significant runs on the north end towards the lookout. The highly trained firefighters engaged the fire instead of tackling the wrapping project, containing several spot fires that had been catching ahead of the main fire in gusting winds.

On Saturday, September 3rd, the wind itself became an obstacle to the project as the Smokejumpers were facing gusts up to 50 mph that made wrapping the lookout almost impossible. The key to good fire protection with building wrap is a tight fit, and the winds made it difficult to pull the wrap tight and secure it before it was blown out of place.

On Sunday, September 4th, the project was completed. The Indian Rock Lookout has not sustained any damage from the fire at this time, and firefighters remain heavily engaged in containment strategies in the area.

Photos: Eric Hendrickson, USFS