More than 100 firefighters are working today to contain the Berry Rock Fire, 3 miles northeast of Trail, which has grown to approximately 60 acres. Airtanker 62 has been flying loads of retardant to the fire this morning from the Medford Airtanker Base. A second airtanker has been ordered.
Vehicle traffic is being managed at 1253 Elk Creek Rd. This is near the staging area for fire-fighting equipment and crews.
No structures are immediately threatened.
Four helicopters are dropping buckets of water onto the fire to cool down hot spots, and a bulldozer is helping with fireline construction. Three additional bulldozers have been ordered.
Engines and water tenders are not being used because the fire is in an area where there are no roads.
The Berry Rock Fire started Thursday, July 8, from a lightning strike. The area in which the fire is burning is very steep, and there is thick brush, mixed stands of conifers and hardwoods, and many dead trees. Burning material rolling downhill has been a constant problem for firefighters.
The remaining lightning-caused fires in Jackson County are either being mopped up, or are being checked daily for smoking material.
A reconnaissance plane is in the air searching for sleepers from Thursday’s thunderstorm. It often takes several days after a thunderstorm before burning material in the forest generates enough smoke to be seen above the tops of the trees. These fires are called sleepers. Three sleepers were spotted, and contained by firefighters, on Saturday.