Transient camp fires a problem, even in winter

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – Debris and burnt wood is all that’s left after firefighters extinguished a fire at a transient camp Tuesday in Josephine County near the intersection of Highland Ave. and Donaldson Rd.

Multiple firefighting agencies in Josephine County jumped into action, taking out the fire quickly. The cause is still under investigation, however, Rural Metro Fire says it appears to be an abandoned transient camp.

“It’s not uncommon for these cold nights for somebody to build a fire,” says Division Chief Austin Prince of Rural Metro Fire. “If they walk away without extinguishing it or doing something to keep it from spreading these types of things can happen.”

Due to transient camps often located in remote forest areas, they can be a huge fire risk. However, it’s a challenge for firefighters to inform people in that community.

“It’s tough. You don’t always know where they live to go pay them a visit and give them some education,” says Chief Prince.

The sunny winter weather is also alarming for firefighters as fuels are deceptively dry for this time of year. However, with a little snow and rain firefighters say it may help with the fire danger.

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