Fires in Southwest Oregon were very active Sunday

map fires southwest Oregon

Above: The map of Southwest Oregon shows heat on wildfires detected within the last week. The red dots are the most current.

(Originally published at 10 a.m. PDT July 23, 2018)

Firefighters in Southwest Oregon are still battling wildfires ignited by the lighting storms that passed across the state a week ago. The good news is they got a reprieve Sunday when additional lightning that was predicted didn’t show up.

Here is a brief summary of the fire situation in Oregon prepared by the Northwest Coordination Center Monday morning:

The warming and drying trend in Oregon will continue [Monday]. This trend is moving north into Washington. Smoke covered the Southwest Oregon fires through the morning [Sunday] and cleared out by early afternoon. As the smoke cleared, large fires in Southwest Oregon exhibited more active growth through the afternoon and into the evening.

Four Incident Management Teams are prepositioned in the Geographic Area and ready for assignments if needed: NW Team 7 (Knerr), NW Team 8 (Johnson), NW Team 10 (Lawson), and PNW Team 2 (Schulte).

The Garner Complex consists of six fires east of Cave Junction. Together they have burned over 11,000 acres. Sunday 50 Oregon National Guard personnel arrived to staff ten road blocks around the clock.

The 1,200-acre Timber Crater 6 Fire in Crater Lake National Park is one of several fires ignited by lightning in and around the Park July 15. On Monday the Incident Management Team described their situation:

With the number of new fires in the Northwest this week, firefighting resources are strained. However, the Timber Crater 6 Fire is being aggressively managed for full suppression, commensurate with values at risk and the overriding objective of public and firefighter safety.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

2 thoughts on “Fires in Southwest Oregon were very active Sunday”

  1. Klondike/Granite Fire Update 7/24/18 ; We are very fortunate to have a new Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor Merv George on board. Fires in our Kalmiopsis Wilderness have not only devastated the wilderness but have destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of national Forest Service lands outside the wilderness areas, most recently the “Let it Burn” Chetco Bar Fire.
    Merv George , with 9 weeks on his new Forest Supervisor job, has taken UNPRECEDENTED ACTIONS by ordering a TYPE 1 team to address this fire in addition to securing authorization to place dozers in the wilderness to cut fire breaks, as I write, in an effort to save communities on the east flank of the fire.
    Kudos to Merv and those forward thinkers in the Forest Service that have supported his plans.
    Guy McMahan Curry Wildfire Prevention

  2. Thanks to the new Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor, Merv George Jr., our forest, our town (Brookings, OR) and our County (Curry) is now in good hands! Having met with Merv on two occasions to discuss USFS policies and our concerns over how the 2017 Chetco Bar Megafire was handled, we are certain that Merv WILL do the right thing during the 2018 fire season. And to date, he has.

    We also have to thank our Governor, Kate Brown, for declaring a ‘state-wide wildfire emergency’ that gives the ODF (Oregon Department of Forestry) the ability to assign National Guard troops and helicopters (Black Hawk and Chinook) to fight fires. This declaration also allows the Office of Emergency Management to coordinate with other states, if additional assets are needed. As noted in the above article, troops have already been deployed on the Garner Complex of fires.

    Compared to the 2017 fire season and the Chetco Bar Megafire that roared through our forest, burned 191,125 acres and came within 5-miles of our town, the stars have seemingly aligned to provide us with the kind of support and protection during the 2018 fire season that we never thought possible.

    We do realize and understand that it all boils down to the availability of resources, where fighting fires is concerned, but we remain hopeful and optimistic that THIS summer will be the turning point in the management of fires in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Should that come to be, we can thank our lucky stars and (especially) Merv George Jr.

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