Very Hot + Very Dry = Oregon Wildfires

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Wildfire
Wildfire | Image by krdu.com

Since the month of August is ending and we haven’t seen any significant measurable rain since July 10th (0.11 inches at the Eugene Airport and 0.04 inches at my house) it’s time to take a look at our current wildfire situation. I began writing this column days ago. To give you the idea of just how serious the fire danger is I have had to update the fire map multiple times and change the data in the the summaries for each one. Between the state of Washington and Oregon we have 9 active fires with 4 of those here in Oregon. I’ll bypass the Washington fires and concentrate on the ones in our state of Oregon.

Oregon Wildfires Map
Oregon Wildfires Map 8/25/16 | Image by NICC

Let’s start with the westernmost fire. The 2500 Road fire is located 3 miles northeast of Depot Bay, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 202 and the fuel involved is timber. It started on 8/22/16 and the cause is unknown. The resources used are 208 people, 8 crews, 1 helicopter and 14 engines (all of which are down by about 50% since Friday 8.24.16). The fire is 100% contained.

WA/OR Wildfire Map
Wildfire Map Washington And Oregon 8.28.16 | Image by NICC
Close-up Oregon Wildfires
Close-up Of Oregon Wildfire Map 8.28.16 (Note the difference from the previous map)| Image by NICC

(This report is from Friday 8.24.16. It is no longer listed.) The Cherry Road fire is located 7 miles south of Adrian, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 35,100 and the fuel is grass and brush. It started on 8/21/16 and the cause listed is human. One residence is threatened. The resources used are 118 people, 2 crews, 2 helicopters and 6 engines. The fire is now 100% contained.

Cherry Road Fire
Cherry Road Fire 8.25.16 | Photo by The Idaho Statesman

The High Pass 12.5 fire is located 10 miles west of Junction City, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 195 and the fuel is timber. It started on 8/25/16 and the cause listed is unknown. The resources used are 573 people, 22 crews, 6 helicopters and 12 engines. The fire is 35% contained.

Cleveland Ridge Fire
Cleveland Ridge Fire 8..23.16 | Photo by swofiredata.com

The Cleveland Ridge fire is located 25 miles north of Medford, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 530 and the fuel involved is timber. It started on 8/22/16 and the cause is listed as unknown. A total of 40 residences are threatened. The resources used are 464 people, 29 crews, 7 helicopters and 23 engines. The fire is 50% contained.

(This report is from Friday 8.24.16. It is no longer listed.) The Hot Springs fire is located 7 miles north of Warm Springs, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 313 and the fuel involved is grass and brush. It started on 8/23/16 and the cause is listed as unknown. A total of 6 non-residences are threatened. The resources used are 62 people, 2 crews, 0 helicopters and 8 engines. The fire is 90% contained.

The Rail Fire
The Rail Fire 8.?.16 | Photo by thenwfireblog.com Courtesy:Inciweb)

The Rail fire is located 10 miles WSW of Unity, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 32,829 and the fuel involved is timber. It started on 7/31/16 and the cause is listed as unknown. One non-residences structure was destroyed, 1 was damaged and 3 are threatened. The resources used are 836 people, 21 crews, 7 helicopters and 38 engines. The fire is 58% contained.

Over this past week, Friday 8/26/16  there was a fire near Clear Lake Road and Fir Butte Road which is east of Fern Ridge Lake. It took helicopters, tenders and fire engines to fight this fire. Apparently the fire was started by a farmer using a cutting torch. That fire shows us that we are all vulnerable the sudden and unexpected fire due to our extremely dry conditions. There were some other grass fires in the area that were quickly extinguished by local firefighters.

As already mentioned these fire summaries are updated daily, so if you need to see the latest update on a particular fire go to the map page and click on the desired fire on the right side of the page at Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NICC).

School may be starting soon and Summer will officially come to an end, but the fire danger will linger until the rain season actually kicks in with cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity. For an updated list of the forest land closures for forest workers and the public go to the ODF Fire Restrictions Chart  and click on the area in which you are interested.

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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