Saturday, July 12, 2014

7/12 Rogue River-Siskiyou NF Fire Update

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest only detected one start from yesterday’s thunderstorm activity across the region, and it was contained at less than one tenth of an acre. Lightning strikes from yesterday’s storm were primarily concentrated on the Siskiyou Mountains and High Cascades Ranger Districts. Reconnaissance flights and fire lookouts will continue to search for sleeper fires throughout the weekend. In anticipation of the forecast warming trend and potential for additional lightning, the Forest has bolstered its firefighting resources with an additional five engines and light helicopter to assist the complement of engines, hand crews, helicopters and rapellers already available for initial attack.

Friday, July 11, 2014

July 11 Afternoon Lightning Map Update

New lightning maps and and info for July 11 is available on the lightning maps page at SWO FIre Data. Also there are some new features for Google Earth users too. Feel free to download them and let us know what you think.

Late Morning Lightning Update

Not much change, lightning-wise, from the map posted two hours ago. This view looks at the broader southwest Oregon region. ODF's Medford Unit has found two small fires on Woodrat Mtn and are looking for a third smoke in that same area. White Point Lookout, on the north end of the Medford Unit, is watching for any sign of smoke from lightning strikes north of Lost Creek Reservoir.

July 11 Lightning Maps Now Available.

New maps have been posted showing the lightning on the morning of July 11. Please go to the SWO Fire Data website for the latest lightning maps and fire data.

Lightning Hits Applegate River Drainage

As expected, a thunderstorm swept into the Siskiyou Mtns this morning, and firefighters from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Medford Unit and Applegate Valley Fire District 9 are looking for three small fires in the Woodrat Mtn-Sterling Creek Rd area. A reconnaissance flight is expected to take off shortly to improve smoke reporting across the region.

The Red Flag Warning for thunderstorms in southwest Oregon will continue until 6:00 p.m. today. More thunderstorms may develop across the region on Saturday.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Red Flag Warning for Tonight and Friday

Another, bigger Red Flag Warning has been issued this afternoon for a large chunk of southwest Oregon. Thunderstorms are expected to start rattling across Jackson and Josephine counties tonight, and are expected to extend north into Douglas County, west into Coos and Curry counties, and east-northeast into Klamath and Lake counties. The Red Flag Warning goes through tonight into late afternoon Friday. See the details on the National Weather Service's web page for Medford.

Lightning Pauses at Border -- Almost

A thunderstorm late Wednesday afternoon crept toward Oregon, shot a couple lightning bolts between Mt. Ashland and the California border, then scooted east of the Cascade Range into Klamath County. No fires have been reported (so far) today on ODF-protected lands, but a reconnaissance flight is scrutinizing the woods along the Oregon-California border.

ODF's Engine 543, which patrols the Ashland area, has been sent to northern California to assist CalFire with a wildfire in the Hutton Creek area, east of Hilt.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July 9 Afternoon Lightning Update

Good Afternoon,

Lightning has entered our area….

2 lightning strikes have been recorded southwest of the Ashland area. Please feel free to visit SWO Fire Data for the latest lightning maps and fire data.

No Lightning for Southwest Oregon Yet

Just checked out lightning tracker and it looks like the last storm went around Medford/Grants Pass area. Closest lightning appears in Southern Deschutes County and Northern Klamath County. The next set of storms are due in later this week. Stay tuned for maps and more info if we get any activity.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

IFPL 2 Takes Effect July 14

Increased fire danger on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District has made it necessary to increase the fire prevention measures on industrial operations, such as logging sites and other commercial operations. Industrial Fire Precaution Level II (two) takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 14, and includes the following restrictions:
  • The use of fire in any form will be prohibited
  • The use of power saws will be prohibited, except at loading sites, between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • The use of cable yarders will be prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Blasting will be prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Welding or cutting of metal will be prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Additionally, commercial operators on forestlands are required to have fire suppression equipment on site and provide watchman service.

These regulations affect all state, county, private and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season regulations, contact the unit office in your area:
  • Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. Phone: (541) 664-3328
  • Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Drive, Grants Pass. Phone: (541) 474-3152

Red Flag Warning Today for SW Oregon Mountains

The National Weather Service has put out a Red Flag Warning for today for the southern Cascade Range and the southern end of the Siskiyou Mtns in southwest Oregon. Between 2:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., "abundant lightning" plus dry vegetation and above normal temperatures may result in a spike in wildfire activity. On the positive side, the storms may bring showers.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Second Fire-Fighting Helicopter Arrives

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District welcomed a second fire-fighting helicopter onto the Medford Unit's helipad today. The new helicopter is a Huey Type II that can haul and drop big buckets of water onto wildfires. This helicopter joins a smaller, Type III helicopter that arrived on July 4. Both helicopters are on contract to the SWO District until mid-September.

New Pocket Card and Stat Sheet

Fire Danger has rebounded quickly since last week’s rain and is now ahead of 2013 levels. With continued hot and dry weather we will see this trend for the forecast period. Our 1000hr fuel moisture has again reached the extreme threshold of 12%. Please feel free to visit the SWO Fire Data page for the latest pocket card and stat sheet