Medford, Ore., — With all the wildfires happening in recent weeks – like the Gold Canyon, Gap and Grade fires, it makes you wonder why some are spread so quickly
Wildfires in both Southern Oregon and Northern California have sparked, growing from a just few acres to hundreds, or even thousands, in a matter of hours.
6 years ago this week the Oak Knoll fire in Ashland also burst to life, consuming 11 homes in its wake.
“The fire was about 3 houses down and visible when we left the house.”
Jerry Freed’s house was just barely spared.
“Sparks were landing in our front yard, and started this tree here on fire, but of course the fire trucks were here and put it out immediately.”
So what is it that fans these flames?
Oregon Department of Forestry officials say there are three major causes.
“The main things we have to worry about are our fuels, our weather and our topography.”
Krunglevich says our region is at a disadvantage when it comes to fire suppression. Steep, rocky hillsides make it difficult for firefighters to gain access.
“The conditions that we have dictate what kind of resources we can use with wild land fire, lately in these cases you’ve seen a lot of aircraft, that’s because we cant physically stand next to the fire.”
For residents on Oak Knoll Drive the incredible power of fire is something they don’t take lightly, as they’ve lived it, and by creating a defensible space around their homes, now they’re prepared.
“As far as our yard, we don’t have grass or really anything to burn.”
If you would like to learn more about creating your own fire wise landscape visit these sites.
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