Wednesday, July 30, 2014

5:30 p.m. Fire Update - Rogue River-Siskiyou NF

– Firefighters are heavily engaged this evening with numerous new starts from an afternoon lightning storm and holdover fires from yesterday’s storm. Ten new starts have been confirmed on the Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District with three more detected on the High Cascades Ranger District. The new fires on the Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District are clustered in the Mt. Ashland and Wagner Butte areas. Engines, hand crews, helicopters and air tankers are working to contain these fires. The new fires on the High Cascades Ranger District are in the area of what is now being called the Camp Creek Complex near Rustler Lookout. Crews on this cluster of fires were making significant progress on containment this afternoon before disengaging as today’s storm passed over creating erratic fire behavior due to outflow winds from the thunder cells. Firefighters will re-engage as soon as it is safe to do so. The Red Flag Warning for abundant lightning remains in effect for the southern Cascades and Siskiyou’s until 11:00 p.m. tonight and has also been issued for tomorrow from 2:00-11:00 p.m.

Lightning Fires Pop Up Rapidly Across Jackson County

A mid-afternoon thunderstorm sprayed lightning strikes widely across Jackson County sparking several new fires on ODF-protected lands.

The latest fires, based on their geographic locations, are as follows:
  • Beaver Creek (Upper Applegate area, north of Applegate Reservoir)
  • Split Rock Cabin (Wagner Creek Rd area)
  • Bull Pine Gap (Little Applegate drainage)
  • Bear Gulch
  • Chocolate Falls
  • Woodrat Mtn.
  • Anderson Butte (several)
  • Point Mtn.
ODF and other fire services engines are responding to fires as quickly as possible. Several helicopters are scouting for smokes and dropping water where needed. An air tanker is also available.

34 New Fire Starts On Rogue River-Siskiyou NF

Early morning reports from fire lookouts and aerial reconnaissance have identified thirty four confirmed fires have ignited on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest as a result of yesterday’s thunderstorms in the area. The starts are located on the Siskiyou Mountains and High Cascades Ranger Districts. Twenty eight fires are located on the High Cascades Ranger District with concentrations of new starts in the Rustler Peak, southern Sky Lakes Wilderness and Griffin Pass areas. The largest of these fires is the Camp Creek Fire near the Rustler Lookout estimated to be 10 to 15 acres in size. There are currently engines, hand crews and a helicopter working this fire, with air tankers on order. The other fires are holding at less than an acre in size and are being staffed with rappelers, hand crews and engines at this time. On the Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District six fires are located within or near the Ashland Municipal Watershed. All of these fires are staffed and reported at less than an acre in size. Lookouts and reconnaissance aircraft continue to watch for additional starts from yesterday’s storms. A Red Flag Warning is in effect this afternoon and evening for the southern Cascades and Siskiyou’s for additional lightning. The forests of southwest Oregon are experiencing tinder dry conditions and are extremely combustible. Firefighters want to remind the public that human caused fires are preventable. Please be aware of current fire restrictions and be careful with anything that could spark a fire.

ODF Southwest Oregon District Fire Update

Thunderstorms late Tuesday started seven small fires on lands protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry’s Medford Unit. Fire lookouts and reconnaissance aircraft are scouting the forestlands for further signs of smoke.

Lightning strikes were heavily concentrated across from Mt. Ashland to Grizzly Peak, and the Butte Creek drainage.
The fires found yesterday and early this morning include:
  • Pilot Rock Road, 1.5 acres
  • Highway 140 Mile Marker 18, .25 acre
  • Rancheria, .25 acre
  • Two fires .10 acre each and two fires .01 acre each
In the Southwest Oregon District’s Grants Pass Unit, crews completed the fireline around the 232-acre Reeves Creek Fire, which broke out late Monday south of Selma in southern Josephine County. Hose lines are also completed strung around the fire and day shift crews will be mopping up hot spots 100-150 feet inside the fireline. Some fireline relocation is also taking place to reduce the distance between the burned area and the fireline.

The containment level has been rolled back to 50 percent (it was reported to be 90 percent late yesterday) because of concerns about the weather. A Red Flag Warning is in effect today for much of ODF’s Southwest Oregon District, and the Reeves Creek Fire area may receive strong, erratic winds if thunderstorms develop again over the Siskiyou Mtns. The temperature is expected to hit 100 degrees again today, and vegetation in the fire area is extremely dry.
More than 270 firefighters are working the day shift, and they are supported by 13 engines, five helicopters, four bulldozers and five water tenders. Air tankers are available if needed.
A Level 1 evacuation notice remains in effect for the Wild Park Lane area, located east of Hwy 199 south of Selma. Reeves Creek Road between Lake Selmac and Hwy 199 also remains in effect; travel on the road is restricted to fire-related traffic and residents.

The cause of the Reeves Creek Fire is under investigation.

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District protects 1.8 million acres of state, private, Bureau of Land Management, and county forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 29 Evening Lightning Map Update

Lightning came onto SWO District this evening with the storm focused East of Medford from the California border to almost Crater Lake. For the latest maps and fire information please visit the SWO Fire Data website. The next map update will be early July 30.  

Reeves Creek Fire 90 Percent Contained

A day- long bombardment by helicopters dropping thousands of gallons of water on the head of the Reeves Creek Fire has helped bring the blaze to the brink of containment. 

The fire held at 232 acres and is 90 percent contained. 

Tonight the fire will be staffed by eight crews supported by four engines, two bulldozers and two water tenders. 

Reeves Creek Map Update

Please visit the SWO Fire Data Map page for the latest map of the Reeves Creek fire.