The Heat May Be Gone For Now, But Not The Fires.

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Corner Creek Fire | Photo by Oregon Forestry Department wildfiretoday.com

We saw the destructive force of fire in our own back yard with the loss of Civic Stadium. As dry as it has been we were very fortunate that the Eugene Fire Department was able to quickly contain the fire to the stadium. It wouldn’t have taken much for the flames or even burning embers to engulf the homes near the stadium and we would have had a much worse disaster on our hands.

Civic Stadium Fire | Photo by klcc.org/John Stapelton
Civic Stadium Fire | Photo by klcc.org/John Stapelton

Since the drought declarations became so widespread I thought the potential of wildfires would increase drastically. We do have some serious wildfires in Oregon, but thankfully not as many as we could have. Thursday July 9th we had an event unseen for 36 days at the  Eugene Airport. A thunderstorm produced some pretty heavy showers that resulted in measurable rainfall at the Airport. My rain gauge, however, was bone dry. With cooler temperatures falling into the 70s we have to be careful not to let our guard down when dealing with fire of any kind. The forests are dry, but so are the trees and brush in the rural and even in the residential areas in and around Lane County and the whole state of Oregon.

Here is a rundown of the current Oregon wildfires listed by the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) as of the day this column was submitted for publication, Sunday July 12th, and the WCC Fire Location Map. The map shows the current major fires in Washington and Oregon, but for this article we are only concerned with the Oregon wildfires.

Corner Creek Fire | Photo by Oregon Forestry Department wildfiretoday.com
Corner Creek Fire | Photo by Oregon Forestry Department/ wildfiretoday.com

The Corner Creek Fire is located 11 miles south of Dayville, OR and covers 29,407 Acres. It is listed as 60% contained and was determined to be caused by lightning. The NICC reports the resources used as 999 people, 34 crews, 12 helicopters, and 38 engines to fight this fire.

The Dennis Creek Fire is located 15 miles east of Union, OR and covers 157 acres. It is listed as 10% contained and was determined to be caused by lightning. The NICC reports the resources used as 13 people, o crews, 3 helicopters and 3 engines to fight this fire.

The Sheep Rock Fire is located in the Beulah Reservoir/Castel Rock area 45 miles northwest of Vale, OR and covers 800 acres. It is listed as 40% contained and was determined to be caused by lightning. The NICC reports the resources used as 67 people, 1 crew, 0 helicopters, and 10 engines to fight this fire.

Air Tanker
Air Tanker Fighting Ten Mile Canyon Fire | Photo by ktvz.com

The Ten Mile Canyon Fire is located 10 miles west of Antelope, OR and covers 6,707 acres.It was listed as 60% contained and the cause is still under investigation. The NICC reports the resources used as 146 people, 5 crews, 0 helicopters, and 4 engines to fight this fire.

The West Fork Fire is located 10 miles southeast of Dayville, OR and covers 764 acres. It is listed as 10% contained and was determined to be caused by lightning. The NICC reports the resources used as 171 people, 7 crews, 0 helicopters, and 2 engines to fight this fire.

The best way to sum it all up is to say that the fire danger will be with us until the Fall rain season gets under way so be careful out there and remember that if you see smoke or a fire report it immediately. And when you go into the woods remember Smokey Bear’s words “Only you can prevent wildfires.” Yes many are started by lightning, but people also start them whether accidentally or deliberately.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].

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