With any luck at all this will be the last time, I promise, this year that I bring up the subject of wildfires in Oregon. This has been a horrendous fire season by anyone’s measurement. In this column just about a month ago the situation was really out of control.
As of Sunday 9.10.17 there were a total of 17 large wildfires in the state of Oregon. They comprised total of 474,676 acres with 14,398 people fighting the fires and a myriad of helicopters and fire engines too. Most of those numbers have dropped drastically. The total acreage involved now is 330,232 acres, with 1,275 people fighting the fires comprised of 21 crews, utilizing 8 helicopters and 27 engines.
If you want to take a look and see the detailed descriptions of those wildfires back in September just go to the following link.
It took about thirty days, lots of clouds, cooler temperatures, and the beginning of our rainy season, which produced copious amounts of rain and even snow to finally give the firefighters the break they needed to contain and actually put out most of those wildfires. Some will continue to smolder for a while, according to the experts, but they are not expected to redevelop.
Here is the current list of the 4 remaining Oregon wildfires and their descriptions:
The Chetco Bar fire: Located east-northeast of Brookings in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Kalmiopsis Wilderness, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 191,090. The fuel is timber, brush, Closed-canopy understory litter. The fuel/terrain is steep, rugged, and inaccessible terrain. It started on 7/12/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 1 damaged, 6 destroyed), Other structures threatened 8 damaged, 24 destroyed. Resources being used: 402 people, 5 crews, 2 helicopters, and 10 engines. The fire is 97% contained.
*The Eagle Creek fire: Located 1 mile south of Cascade Locks, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 48,831. The fuel/ terrain is timber. It started on 9/2/17 and the cause is listed as human caused -under investigation. Residences threatened- 4 residences destroyed. Resources being used: 229 people, 4 crews, 1 helicopter, and 4 engines. The fire is 46% contained.
*This fire was originally 2 separate fires – The Eagle Creek Fire and the Indian creek fire, but the two merged in to one larger fire.
The High Cascades Complex fire: Located 9 miles northeast of Prospect, Oregon. The number of acres involved 80,197. The fuel/terrain is timber (litter and understory). It started on 8/12/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Structures threatened – 7 minor structures, (1 destroyed). Resources being used: 462 people, 8 crews, 4 helicopters, and 8 engines. The fire is 34% contained.
The Jones fire: Located at 10 miles northeast of Lowell, Oregon. The number of acres involved 10,114. The fuel/terrain is large downed trees and standing snags. Green trees may be weakened from 2003 fire in same area. It started on 8/10/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Structures threatened- 1 minor structure (1 destroyed). Resources being used: 182 people, 4 crews, 1 helicopter, and 5 engines. The fire is 89% contained.
The authorities believe all of the fires should be contained between the 15th and 30th of October. I don’t have data yet to say how this year stacked up to others,but we do know it was a very bad wildfire year.
Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].