As smoke slows Rum Creek Fire, firefighters aim to keep perimeter small

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore.– As of Tuesday morning, the Rum Creek Fire is now burning almost 12,000 acres.

The fire is still 1% contained.

No new emergency alerts were put out Tuesday.

Fire officials said they’re doing everything they can to keep the fire’s perimeter as small as possible.

They said the steep terrain and hot weather makes that challenging.

Public information officer Randall Rishe said, “this is a full suppression fire.”

The Rum Creek Fire continues to grow in Josephine County.

While the goal was to keep the fire to one side of the Rogue River, the fire is now on both sides.

Rishe said, “the hot weather, as well as the steep terrain will show some fire progression.”

The large number of trees in the rural area has also made it difficult for firefighters on the ground.

“There is heavy fuels, what we call ‘thousand hour fuels’, which is the forests, and our goal is to keep the fire perimeter as small as possible,” Rishe said.

He said its extremely important for residents to pay attention to evacuation alerts.

Rishe said to make sure you have everything you need if there is an evacuation, as soon as you get a level 1 alert.

He said, “consider what you want to bring with you. Photos, important documentation, medications, anything that you will need if you have to evacuate your home.”

Josephine County Emergency Manager Emily Ring said her office is trying to anticipate fire behavior as much as possible.

She is working closely with firefighters and sending out alerts as soon as possible to keep residents informed.

Ring said, “we’re going to be trying to do that forward-leaning and make sure people have a preparedness mindset as much as possible.”

Ring recommends following the Rogue Valley Emergency Management page on social media to get updates as soon as information goes public.

She said there’s also a phone line on the Rum Creek Fire InciWeb page for fire information, that’s 541-625-0849.

Ring said, “there will be a link to our interactive map where folks can zoom in and out and they can look real close if they want or get a far perspective and enter an address, all of those things.”

Fire officials say that even though there’s smoke in the air, that’s good for fire activity.

The fire only increased around 700 acres since Monday, due to lower fire activity.

NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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