12 lightning-caused fires keep ODF busy over the weekend

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) was very busy this weekend with lightning storms around the Rogue Valley.

ODF said that it responded to 12 lightning fires over the weekend alone.

ODF said that the biggest fire that it responded to over the weekend was the Heppsie Mountain Fire south of Highway 140 and east of Lakecreek.

Fire officials said that the fire was stopped at nine acres.

Crews were finishing mop-up operations Monday.

The fire prompted a level two evacuation warning from Jackson County Emergency Management but that notice has since been lifted.

ODF said that even with cooler temperatures in the forecast, the worst thing we can do is let our guard down in this very active fire season.

“We’re still in extreme fire danger, it still only takes an hour for that dry grass to be ready to burn again once the rain stops, and we already have naturally caused fires on the landscape that we can’t prevent,” ODF Public Information Officer Natalie Weber said. “We can prevent human-caused fires.”

Weber said that after the storm on Saturday, ODF crews decided to cancel their days off over the weekend to have all firefighters available.

Weber said that because this fire season has been so active, it makes it even more important to follow the current fire danger regulations.

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Ethan McReynolds is a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC5 News. He grew up in Bothell, Washington and graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Broadcasting and minors in Journalism and Sport Management. At Gonzaga, he started his own sports podcast. Ethan loves rooting for his hometown Seattle sports teams, especially the Mariners. He loves playing baseball, basketball, and soccer. He is also an avid Taylor Swift fan.
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