CENTRAL POINT, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Forestry is urging community members to use extra caution when spending time outdoors. Monday, July 9 was a challenging day for ODF’s Southwest Oregon District and all of the fires that day have been deemed human-caused.
ODF said that the upcoming weather forecast is priming the District to enter into an Extreme (Red) Fire Danger Level and that it is crucial for everyone to stay informed and be aware of the upcoming change.
ODF provided the following recap of all the fires they faced in Jackson and Josephine Counties Monday:
The Truck Road 399 Fire was discovered in the early morning hours July 9 near Butte Falls. Firefighters were able to knock down the fire at roughly a 0.5 acre; however, the heavy timber made mop up a lengthy process. This kept crews tied to the fire for several hours.
Later that morning, firefighters were able to make another amazing catch. The Beacon Hill Fire near I-5 milepost 55 was called in around 10:30 a.m. ODF Southwest and several mutual aid resources were able to make a quick stop on this 0.37 acre fire a mere 20 minutes later. This is a testament of our coordinated firefighting system we have throughout Jackson and Josephine Counties.
Just after 1:00 p.m., ODF Southwest assisted our partners, U.S. Forest Service Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, on a fire up near Butcherknife Creek NE of Selma. Although the terrain proved to be difficult, the teamwork thrived. The fire was wrapped up at approximately 10 acres.
By the afternoon, the Red Flag Warning issued by our local National Weather Service came to fruition on the fire line. Another report of a grass fire came in just after 4:30 p.m. roughly seven miles west of Grants Pass. The gusty winds and dry conditions posed a challenge to the several firefighters on the ground from ODF Southwest, Rural Metro Fire, and Grants Pass Fire. However, the collaboration of firefighting efforts on the ground and in the air paid off. The final fire size of the Riverbanks Road Fire is 7.9 acres.