Evacuations in effect for the Rum Creek Fire in southwest Oregon

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14 miles northwest of Grants Pass, Oregon

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3-D map of the Rum Creek Fire,
3-D map of the Rum Creek Fire, looking south-southwest at 9:45 p.m. Aug. 28, 2022.

The Rum Creek Fire 14 miles northwest of Grants Pass, Oregon has grown to 10,709 acres since it started from lightning on August 17. The fire is burning in very steep, remote, rugged terrain on both sides of the Rogue River. It has spread upriver to Galice and east to Stratton Creek. Spot fires have occurred two miles down range.

Much of the work being done by firefighters is construction of indirect fire lines some distance from the fire and prepping structures to increase their chances of survival.

Map of the Rum Creek Fire, 9:45 p.m. Aug. 28, 2022
Map of the Rum Creek Fire. The red line was the perimeter at 9:45 p.m. Aug. 28, 2022. The white line was the perimeter about 24 hours before.

The fire is under a unified command with three incident management teams working together, Northwest 13, Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Blue Team, and Oregon Department of Forestry’s Team 1.


Evacuations orders can be found on the Facebook pages for Josephine County Sheriff’s Office and Josephine Co. Emergency Management. A map is available showing the evacuation areas.

Firefighter Fatality

Logan Taylor, 25-year old firefighter, was killed August 18 when hit by a falling tree while working on the Rum Creek Fire.

Rum Creek Fire, Oregon, August 23, 2022
Rum Creek Fire, Oregon, August 23, 2022. Photo by Rand.

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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.

13 thoughts on “Evacuations in effect for the Rum Creek Fire in southwest Oregon”

  1. I took a ride yesterday to as near to the Rum Creek Fire as road closures allowed. As in every wildfire, the “Thank You Firefighters!” homemade signs have sprouted like mushrooms. But every one of the signs I saw was on property where it was obvious that the owners had done little to nothing to clean up the down-dead fuels, had never done a prescribed burn, had not thinned or limbed-up their trees. If you really want to thank a firefighter, make their life easier by making sure that YOUR property is the one that they can stop the fire on because you gave them every advantage you could.

  2. I’m sorry to say that I’ve got a couple dozen burn piles from spring thinning, and hope the fire doesn’t get to them. Not sure what’s the best way to deal with cleared brush, cut ladder fuels, etc. I assume it’s best to pile and burn after the rains come; surely it’s no good to just leave everything lying on the ground (lop and scatter), is it?

    Any suggestions? (Too steep to utilize chipper, though we did use a power Mulcher on a few acres)

  3. Seems fair and logical. How many of these people know about these issues? Are they dumb or just uninformed?

  4. I would like to believe that the number of stupid and or lazy people minimal and that the the majority of fire hazard private land is owned by folks that are not educated about fire prevention or lack the physical and or financial means to get the job done.the only way to figure out who’s who is to create programs to insure people are educated.i feel there should be a mandatory short 1 -2 hr course that must be completed in order for people to be able to complete a transaction of property especially in rural areas regardless of where the property owner lives . If a system is put in place that requires property owners to be educated then we can figure out who’s who and tax the lazy and the stupid for being inconsiderate of their neighbors safety

  5. If you missed the window of opportunity for burning last winter, you’re stuck waiting until next winter to burn the piles. I saw a property like this on my ride the other day – nice job of cleaning up, but the piles are still there. I do three kinds of burning here: 1) piles, where all excess fuels within a reasonable dragging distance get burned in one place. I recommend NOT piling it all up and then lighting a huge fire, but light a small fire and then keep feeding it slowly – that minimizes the footprint and helps protect any surrounding trees. And it’s a great way to spend a cold winter day. 2) area burns, which can only be done after an initial cleanup removes all of the heavier fuels, but enough grass or leaves are present to carry a flame. You must be fully confident that the moisture, temperature, wind, and fuel load conditions will allow you to do this safely, that you can light a fire here and it will burn to there and then go out. I mostly find that if it’s legal for me to burn at all, my problem will be keeping an area burn going, not having it get out of hand. 3) linear burning, where I rake excess fuels onto a trail from 4 to 6 feet either side and then light it like a fuse. It does a marvelous job of cleaning weeds off the trail in the spring, makes a prepared firebreak before fire season, creates a low or no-fuel zone for laying out hoses in a wildfire, and makes start/stop lines for later area burns. I’ve got about 3/4 mile of trails on my five acres that allow me to do area burns in small bites of well-defined space.

  6. You know we went Paradise after their fire and you know they could have started another fire so what happened to logic of people we need to stop blaming global warming and climate for this fire of people’s negligence. So I agree with Tom people need to take care of their property and stop this fire that’s burning our state we need to leave something for our next generation.

  7. What I would like to see is a program for people who would feel safer doing controlled burns, at least until they gain some experience, to have a state forestry person come by to give them a yea or nay on the burn and perhaps stand by while the owner lights it. Most people without experience in prescribed burning have no idea how intensely (or not) certain types and amounts of fuel will be consumed under what conditions. Everybody would win to have coaching available in this art of burning.

  8. Are you kidding? Well trained and experienced government wildfire people can’t even control their “controlled burns”.

  9. Completely and utterly false, RX has about the same success rate as initial attack, in the mid 90%.

  10. In “the old days”, when there were only two roads located in the Galice Ranger District, Siskiyou National Forest. Siskiyou was called “The Asbestos Forest”, since the existing old growth was so near to being fireproof that firefighters were forced to fight fires in other areas, in order to support themselves.

    Back then, the Galice Fire Fighting department consisted of two people: rather elderly Chief Davis (I don’t know his first name; he always went by “Chief”. I don’t remember the name of his second in command.)

    In those days, one of those two would light off the slash from a timber sale at the bottom (typically in the heat of summer, to get a “sanitary burn)”. The other would be located at the top of the burn, to prevent it from spreading into upslope timber. All with hand tools.

    When I started work at Galice, I had an official Siskiyou forest map in my lab, from roughly 1965. Only two roads, as I said. One went to the patented Barr Mine in Briggs Valley. The other went to privately owned Spaulding and Sons timber land, way out in the Spaulding Pond area.

    By the late 1970s, most of the Galice District had on the order of one to two miles of logging road PER SECTION! (A section is almost exactly one square mile.) I hope you never have to see the devastation from the air. AMAZING!

    The amount of logging debris left after logging shows is now a disaster still in the making. Timber beasts would have you believe that more logging of old growth forests acts as fire “protection”. Right. If so, why does a tiny fire, e,g. The Biscuit Fire, grow to 500,000 acres, while being fought by thousands of firefighters, scores of bulldozers, helicopters, “borate” bombers, and water tankers, and so forth?

    Hello? The world is not run by logical people. It’s run by greedy pigs.

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