Applegate, Ore. — The Miller Complex Fire burning in the Applegate has over 500 personnel working to put out the flames. While significant progress has been made over the past weeks, fire crews are hoping this weekend’s weather doesn’t bring them back to square one.
The fire started up around three weeks ago, and it’s grown to nearly 15,000 acres. Just in the past week, it’s put some residents on a Level 2 ‘Be Ready’ Evacuation.
“We are really working operationally on the fires to do the best that we can with the resources that we have available,” said Bobbi Doan, Oregon Department of Forestry.
Resources aren’t the only concern for fire crews, they also have to think about terrain and weather.
“This Red Flag Warning and the heat this weekend, we’re concerned about the fire activity ramping up and we just want to make sure that we mitigate the damage as much as we can and mitigate risk,” Doan said.
The Miller Complex is made up of several smaller fires – including the Creedence and Bigelow Fire, the Burnt Peak Fire and the Abney Fire.
“Everyday, throughout the communities surrounding the Miller Complex Fire, we have information staff that are going out into the community and posting updates,” Doan said.
Those updates keep nearby communities aware and prepared.
“Get the most current information out to the communities so that they can be empowered to make the best decision for themselves and also to just alleviate some of that stress and alleviate some of that concern,” Doan said.
Making the best decision so when the time comes, you’ll have all the answers you need.
“If I need to go somewhere else, what needs to happen on the home front to keep things okay,” Doan said.
But for now, with most areas under either a Level 1 or Level 2 Evacuation Notice, ODF said it’s confident in the community and thanks residents for being a good partner during the fire.
“It’s a great area, and they have a pretty strong understanding of what it means to live in a landscape where the fire is a regular occurrence,” Doan said.
The Miller Complex is 40% contained. The Joe Bar area was also relaxed Friday to an evacuation warning.