Sunday, June 28, 2015

ROGUE RIVER-SISKIYOU NATIONAL FOREST FIRE RECAP Firefighters continue to work on a number of fires on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Friday’s lightning storm ignited six known fires on the High Cascades Ranger District. All of these fires are now lined and in mop-up stage or declared out. The Buckskin Fire on the Wild Rivers Ranger District remains at 60% containment and crews continue to mop-up and rehabilitate fire lines. The Medford Air Tanker Base supported fires on the Umpqua National Forest and Prineville District BLM, reloading one Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT), three heavy air tankers, and one Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT). The base has pumped 45,000 gallons of fire retardant to support the suppression efforts on these fires. Fire lookouts and aerial reconnaissance flights continue to search for sleeper fires that may pop up after smoldering undetected for several days. Yesterday a new fire start along the Pacific Crest Trail near Brown Mountain was the second human-caused fire on the forest this week and both were determined to have been caused by an abandoned campfire. Three other abandoned campfires have been reported this morning. Recent data from neighboring Coos Forest Protective Agency reports that human-caused fires in June 2015 have increased 300% from June 2014. Public Use Restrictions across the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest go into effect at 0001 hours July 1. These restrictions will limit campfires to approved fire rings within forest designated campgrounds only, and will include limitations on smoking. “I continue to urge the public to be extra cautious with anything that can ignite a wildfire,” said Eric Hensel, Fire Staff Officer of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. “We are experiencing record setting burning conditions for this time of year and any careless spark risks the chance of becoming a large wildfire. Firefighters can’t control ignitions from lightning, but everyone has a responsibility to be fire safe, and to know and follow the current fire restrictions. Human caused fires are preventable.” The weather forecast calls for a continued threat of lightning in the area today, with a slight cooling trend during the first of the week returning to triple digits by mid-week and another threat of lightning by the end of the week into the 4th of July weekend. For current fire restrictions on the Rogue River-Siskiyou NF go to: www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou. For fire restrictions on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands in southwest Oregon, including lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management go to: www.swofire.com/p/fire-season-regulations.