As another fire is deemed human-caused, firefighters urge fire safety

LAKEVIEW, Ore. – The Cougar Peak Fire is burning in Lake County. Investigators announced Friday the fire is human-caused.

“Sometimes we will find devices, or we will find the campfire, or garbage being burned, or different scenarios. And sometimes we won’t, they burn up from the fire,” said Stacy Lacey, PIO for Cougar Peak Fire.

Unfortunately, human-caused fires are an all too common occurrence. Nearly 90% of wildfires are human-caused. This year over 38,000 fires were started by people nationwide compared to just 5,400 ignited by lightning.

“The arson piece is very small. Accidental fires happen more often than anything else,” said Lacey.

Investigators still haven’t announced what started last year’s Almeda or South Obenchain fires. But they have said they are all human-caused.

“I’m frustrated that we have not identified the suspect, as I’m sure everybody else is,” said Police Chief Tighe O’Meara, Ashland Police.

As our nation pauses this weekend in remembrance of 9/11 where the world saw first hand the sacrifices first responders have made for us. We’re reminded our wildland firefighters are also risking their lives to protect ours. They’re asking us to be careful, to keep them and us safe.

“You guys wanna help firefighters? Do due diligence on your property. Clean it, rack it, do a little bit of landscaping. Do your part as a citizen. That’ll help us a lot,” said

Even though the Rogue Valley saw a brief rain late this week firefighters told NBC5 News it’s not the time to let your guard down. We’re still very much in fire season.

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Katie Streit
NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]