Rum Creek Fire containment increases, firefighters prepping for dangerous conditions

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore.– Containment on the Rum Creek Fire increased to 12%.

Fire officials said they expect containment to increase even more over the weekend.

There is a red flag warning in place and firefighters are worried fire activity will increase.

The dry cold front moving towards the fire is the same kind of weather that helped the fire grow last Friday.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office’s Sandy Roberts said firefighters are doing everything they can to prepare for the potentially dangerous conditions.

“We are expecting a cold front which could change the winds and so we’re planning for that and keeping an eye on that. Cold fronts can cause more instability on a fire so we are watching that very closely,” Roberts said.

Fire officials said they’ve seen fires start outside of containment lines on the east side of the fire.

They’re shifting resources to that area to mop up any spot fires.

Firefighters have been doing burn operations around Galice to prepare for a potentially unstable fire.

Burn operations are controlled fires that burn all the fuels in an area.

Firefighters use burn operations to make sure there’s nothing for a fire to burn if it reaches that area.

ODF said the burn operations for the Rum Creek Fire have been successful so far.

ODF’s Marcus Kauffman said “we burn off of it usually or we allow the fire to come right up to that edge, and then we mop it up. Then we mop it 10 feet, then 20 feet and then 50 feet.”

He said the smoky conditions this week let firefighters do more controlled burns.

He said they don’t do burn operation during windy or dangerous conditions.

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NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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