wildfire

Lee Winslow/ODF

SUNDAY 9:30 PM:

ODF says crews "made excellent progress on the fire" during the day Sunday.  Fire acreage at 36,500+... first day since Thursday fire did not gain 10,000 acres during the day.

SUNDAY NOON:

The Oregon Gulch Fire continues to burn through a vast swath of land on the Oregon/California state line, generating large amounts of smoke and obscuring dozens of other fires burning in the region.  The fire zone is south of Oregon highway 66 and generally east of Jenny Creek, with land scorched in Jackson, Klamath and Siskiyou Counties.

Keith Henty/KeithHenty.com

Much of the Rogue Valley is shrouded in a smoky haze, as southern Oregon’s largest wildfire so far this season grows at a rapid pace.

The lightning-caused fire -- reported Thursday morning as 10 acres -- exploded across southeastern Jackson County overnight and spread into Klamath County as well as Siskiyou County, California.

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Lightning continues to set fires around the region, keeping firefighters busy and forcing evacuation alerts.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office issued a level one evacuation order for Copco Road east of Ashland Thursday afternoon (July 31).

The Oregon Gulch fire burning in the nearby Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument prompted the order, which means residents should be ready to evacuate if needed.

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Nature continues to provide a one-two punch to the region: hot, dry weather AND thunderstorms.

Oregon Department of Forestry reports seven new fires across the Medford district from Tuesday's storms.  None are big, but more may develop.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning covering the Rogue Valley, South Cascades, Siskiyous, the Klamath Basin and Siskiyou County.  It remains in effect until 11 PM Wednesday (July 30).

South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership

Firefighters appear to have the upper hand on the Ferguson fire, burning on private land in Klamath County. 

By Monday afternoon, the fire was listed as 75% contained on 200 acres.

The fire was first reported on Friday, and quickly burned down three structures and threatened several more, forcing evacuation orders.

Those orders had been dialed back to less urgent advisories by early Monday.  The fire zone is 30 miles east of Klamath Falls, five miles north of Beatty.

Public Domain

Thunderstorms moved through Southern Oregon and Northern California Tuesday night, with thousands of lightning strikes recorded on both sides of the state line.

The National Weather Service reports more than 1,200 downstrikes in Jackson County alone.

And so the Oregon Department of Forestry reports multiple fires caused by lightning, most of them less than two acres in size.

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest also reports more than a dozen new fires, also small.  Crews scattered in search of new smokes.

Fire Season Intensifies

Jul 15, 2014
Federal Emergency Management Agency

July and August can be tricky months to try to schedule interviews with firefighters and their bosses. 

The region's propensity for high heat AND dry lightning often converge in raging wildfires in the month of July.   

And true to form, we scheduled an interview shortly before new fires forced evacuations in Shasta and Klamath Counties.

SCOFMP

A wildfire in Klamath County burned down half a dozen homes and continues to threaten 100 more.

The Moccasin Hill fire began burning Sunday afternoon (July 13) and has spread to 2500 acres.  The acreage figure is actually smaller than earlier reports, due to better mapping and reconnaissance.

The fire is burning on mostly private land under Oregon Department of Forestry protection, north of the community of Sprague River.

Fire agencies say the cause is under investigation.

Chris Friend/Oregon Dept. of Forestry

A Klamath County wildfire that put up a fight over the weekend is slowly coming under control.

The Bryant Fire started Thursday six miles from the town of Bonanza, and quickly covered hundreds of acres. 

It's been burning in heavy timber owned by Jeld-Wen, the Klamath Falls door-and-window maker. 

Reports early Monday put the fire's size at 1,361 acres.  Firefighters succeeded in getting a line around the fire over the weekend, with full containment expected later in the week.

Kellie Carlsen/Oregon Dept. of Forestry

A wildfire burning in eastern Klamath County is giving firefighters challenges.

The Bryant Fire grew to more than 800 acres Friday, burning on private timberland six miles from the town of Bonanza.

The Oregon Department of Forestry assigned a Type 2 State Fire Team to take over management of the fire, effective at 6 PM Friday.

National Wildland Fire Strategy

Jun 9, 2014
PNW #2 IMTeam

Wildland fires grab our attention and headlines easily. 

They seem to get bigger and more numerous every year. 

But away from the headlines, work has quietly been underway to develop a broad strategy for approaching fires and their causes. 

The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy ordered by Congress five years ago was recently released. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Fire season is only a week old, and Rogue Valley residents are already asking "where's the fire?"

The answer: near Bend.  Oregon Forestry confirms that the smoke pall hanging over the Rogue Valley blew in from the Two Bulls Fire northwest of Bend, which had covered more than 6,000 acres of land by Sunday morning (June 8).

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

There wasn't much suspense, and now it's over: fire season begins at the start of the day (12:01 AM) on Monday, June 2, 2014 for Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Lake Counties.

The Oregon Department of Forestry announced the declaration of fire season early Friday.

The declaration puts a set of restrictions in place on activities that could potentially cause fires to start: debris burning, use of certain kinds of ammunition, and logging, among others (restrictions list HERE).

On The Verge Of Fire Season

May 29, 2014
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

Southern California is adjusting to the realities of a year-round fire season. 

So far, we do not have to face that reality where we live. 

But this fire season, which could be declared at any time (already underway south of the state line) , threatens to be a rough one in Oregon and California. 

It comes after several years of low rain and snowfall, and arrives during a drought. 

Defensible Space In Case Of Wildfire

May 6, 2014
FEMA/Public Domain

Oregon girds for the start of fire season every year about this time. 

If the gathering drought and the recent hot weather are any guide, it could be an intense fire season. 

The Keep Oregon Green Association is determined to keep any fires as small as possible. 

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Rain and cooler temperatures can't hide the strong possibility of a bad fire season for the region. 

Cool and moist now will eventually give way to hot and dry, perhaps VERY dry. 

Fire agencies are not waiting for the hot days; they're reminding homeowners now of the many ways to make a home fire-resistant. 

Preparing For Wildfires Nationwide

Apr 11, 2014
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Wildfires have gotten so big and so numerous in recent years, it's a wonder there was NOT a National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day before now. 

But this year will mark the first such occasion, coming up on May 3rd. 

Garrett Frey/CalFire

A man has been arrested for arson for starting two small fires that joined and erupted into the fatal Clover Fire in Northern California in September.

Zane Wallace Peterson was arrested Tuesday on several charges, including suspicion of murder, arson on forest lands, and arson causing great bodily injury, according to Scott McLean, a fire captain with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

After The Fire, The Salvage Argument

Nov 15, 2013
PNW #2 IMTeam

It's one of the most predictable patterns in nature: a wildfire starts in a forest, a massive firefighting effort eventually succeeds in stopping the fire…

and then, after a few weeks, the arguments begin over how best to help the landscape recover from the fire.

Fire Season Ends In Southwest Oregon

Sep 24, 2013
NASA.gov

Fire season ended at last in most of Southern Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) dropped the fire danger to LOW at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, September 24th. 

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