JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – Crews are hoping the weather will help them gain the upper hand on fires burning in Josephine County.
The Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires were sparked by lightning on July 15. Since then, the Taylor Creek Fire has grown to about 52,777 acres and the Klondike Fire reached about 76,503 acres.
Western control lines have reached the burn scar of the 2017 Chetco Bar Fire, serving as a natural fire block due to the lack of available fuels. Southern control lines are being widened using tactical firing operations and drones.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the main goal is to prevent the fire from crossing Highway 199, where it could threaten the community of Cave Junction. Structure protection crews are working to assess other possible risks to the Selma area.
On Thursday, the evacuation level for Illinois River Road has been lowered from a Level 3 (go) to a Level 2 (be set) for residences above milepost 2.5 up to and including McCaleb Ranch. Residence below milepost 2.5 to Highway 199 remain on a Level 1 (be ready) notice. The section of road from McCaleb Ranch through Oak Flat will remain on a Level 3 (Go) notice.
The Taylor Creek Fire is 95% contained, the Klondike Fire is 37% contained.
An interactive map of the current evacuation levels is available at http://www.bit.ly/joco-evac