Tuesday, August 13, 2013

National Forest Firefighters Contain 42 Fires in Seven Days

Firefighters have been busy since August 7 chasing smokes and putting out fires started by the series of lightning storms that have passed over the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.  To date, all 42 new fire starts associated with the storms have been contained.  Aircraft, engines and crews remain available to attack any additional starts should sleeper fires come to life over the next few days. 

A summary of the activity on the Forest: High Cascades Ranger District – 23 fires; Wild Rivers Ranger District – 14 fires; Gold Beach Ranger District – 5 fires.  The largest fire, the Grizzly Fire on the Wild Rivers Ranger District, grew to 4 acres. All fires combined burned just over 15 acres. 

Cooperation between all fire suppression organizations, land management agencies and large fire management teams in southwest Oregon remains a hallmark of the 2013 fire season.  With thousands of lightning strikes from the latest series of storms, initial attack resources were initially beefed up in anticipation of the lightning, and then supplemented by aircraft, engines and crews from the large fires in the area to successfully keep all new starts small in size.

While the latest fires on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest were lightning-caused, many wildfires in southwest Oregon are caused by people. The Forest has issued new public use restrictions to decrease the possibility of human caused fires.  To view the latest restrictions, as well as road and trail closures on the Forest associated with large fire activity go to: www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou.  To view the current restrictions on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in Jackson and Josephine counties, including the Bureau of Land Management, go to: www.swofire.com/p/fire-season-regulations.  For regulations in Douglas County, see the Douglas Forest Protective Association's website at http://www.dfpa.net/. Regulations in Coos and Curry counties are established by the Coos Forest Protective Association at http://www.coosfpa.net/.

The public is urged to use caution with any activity that could spark a blaze.  Every preventable wildfire puts firefighters and the public at risk and reduces the ability of fire suppression agencies to respond to the next fire.