Officials take precautionary measures with the Taylor Creek Fire

MERLIN, Ore. —  As the Taylor Creek fire continues to burn and creep closer and closer to the Rogue River, officials are taking precautionary measures.

They shut down parts of the Rogue River on Tuesday morning as well as sending out evacuations notices for some residents living east of the Rogue River.

“Part of the closures is an attempt to keep the fires from moving across the river, the fire is in place on the landscape they’re using strategic firing operations to do burn outs in advance to remove fuel in advance from the flame in front coming down to the river,” Joel Brumm, Public Information Officer for the Incident Command, said.

They had to shut down portions of the Rogue River because helicopters are using the water to help fight the fires. In order for helicopters to dip down, they can’t have boaters or rafters in their way.

“What were really trying to do with these closures is to ensure that both people are safe and also that firefighters have the space they need to engage in their operations.”

The Taylor Creek fire has not yet reached the Rogue River, however fire crews are preparing the land ahead of time by doing burn outs. Burn outs are strategic fires that fire crews set themselves in order to burn parts of the land that hasn’t been touched by the fire. Burned areas can not be burned again.

“What we want to do is create a buffer between where the wildfire is coming down the hill and the rogue river so it doesn’t have that momentum when it hits the river and can just jump across,” Brumm said.

But nothing can be expected when it comes to a wildfire and Brumm said fire crews are doing everything they can to prevent the fire from crossing the river as well as keeping everyone safe.

“Were doing everything we can to ensure people are kept safe, our resources, homes and infrastructure is protected,” Brumm said. “Also that firefighters have the space they need to be able to get in and protect those homes.”

Blakely McHugh is a weather forecaster and reporter for NBC5 News. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA.

Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors.

Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “Hi!”

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