Yesterday, was the first of many challenging days we anticipate on ODF Southwest Oregon District. While all of yesterday’s starts are still under investigation, they have all been deemed human-caused. Therefore, we are urging every member of our community to use extra caution when outdoors. It is going to take all of us working together to reduce the amount of wildfires this season.
In addition, the anticipated forecast for the end of this week is priming the District to enter into an Extreme (Red) Fire Danger Level. While there is no date set in stone currently, it is important for everyone to be aware of the upcoming changes and stay informed. If you are not already, please monitor are public Facebook page for the most up-to-date information. We, at ODF Southwest, want to take every step necessary to keep you, your families, and our firefighters safe.
Here is a quick recap of what our firefighters across Jackson and Josephine counties faced yesterday:
The Truck Road 399 Fire was discovered in the early morning hours July 9 near Butte Falls. Firefighters were able to knock down the fire at roughly a 0.5 acre; however, the heavy timber made mop up a lengthy process. This kept crews tied to the fire for several hours.
Later that morning, firefighters were able to make another amazing catch. The Beacon Hill Fire near I-5 milepost 55 was called in around 10:30 a.m. ODF Southwest and several mutual aid resources were able to make a quick stop on this 0.37 acre fire a mere 20 minutes later. This is a testament of our coordinated firefighting system we have throughout Jackson and Josephine Counties.
Just after 1:00 p.m., ODF Southwest assisted our partners, U.S. Forest Service Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, on a fire up near Butcherknife Creek NE of Selma. Although the terrain proved to be difficult, the teamwork thrived. The fire was wrapped up at approximately 10 acres.
By the afternoon, the Red Flag Warning issued by our local National Weather Service came to fruition on the fire line. Another report of a grass fire came in just after 4:30 p.m. roughly seven miles west of Grants Pass. The gusty winds and dry conditions posed a challenge to the several firefighters on the ground from ODF Southwest, Rural Metro Fire, and Grants Pass Fire. However, the collaboration of firefighting efforts on the ground and in the air paid off. The final fire size of the Riverbanks Road Fire is 7.9 acres.
In addition to these fires, we also provided mutual aid to several of our partner agencies including Medford Fire-Rescue (Chevy Way Fire – pictured below) and Illinois Valley Fire District (Redwood Highway Fire – details @IVFD), and other smaller incidents.
Thank you, as always, to our outstanding partners and their diligent work to keep our communities safe this Fire Season.