wildfires

A Better Season Than We Expected And There Is Something New For Next Season.

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We all know about the four seasons of summer, fall, winter, and spring but here in Oregon another season can be more impactful that all of them put together. What I am referring to is the wildfire season. This past fire season I again wrote about the wildfires that were in progress at various times this summer and fall. I’m sure everyone noticed that there wasn’t nearly as much to report this season than over the last few years before it.

The actual number from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is that in this season 923 wildfires occurred on ODF protected land.  The total acreage burned was 16,867 acres which is 56% below average. The season lasted only 99 days, three weeks shorter than the average of 121 days, making it the shortest fire season in this century. We are really grateful that we didn’t have to deal with the acrid smoke that has swept into our cities in years past.

Let’s take a look at this year’s wildfire season as shown in this column.

Oregon Wildfires 7.12.19 | Image by NWCC

A check of the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC) Large Fire map on Friday 7/12/19 showed only one large wildfire in the state of Oregon. Here are the details.

The Blue Ridge fire: Located 25 miles southwest of John Day, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 667. The fuel/terrain is timber.  It started on 7/03/19 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 0 single residences, Other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 49 people, 1 crew, 0 helicopters, and 6 engines (updated Saturday 7/13/19). The fire is 99% contained (also updated Saturday 7/13/19). Status: Minimal fire activity with creeping and smoldering fire behavior. Crews continue mop-up operations.

There are currently three large wildfires in Oregon and six large wildfires in Washington State as of Thursday 7.25.19 according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC). The following is the summary of the three Oregon Wildfires.

The Drummond Basin fire: Located 32 miles south of Jordan Valley, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 2,410. The fuel/terrain is grass.  It started on 7/23/19 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 0 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 25 people, 0 crews, 1 helicopter, and 6 engines. The fire is 95% contained.

The Miller Island fire: Located 2 miles east of Wishram, Washington. The number of acres involved is 900. The fuel/terrain is grass.  It started on 7/23/19 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 0 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 28 people, 1 crews, 0 helicopter, and 2 engines. The fire is 100% contained.

The Round Butte fire: Located 30 miles south of Burns, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 1,209. The fuel/terrain is Juniper, grass and sagebrush.  It started on 7/22/19 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 0 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 40 people, 0 crews, 0 helicopters, and 7 engines. The fire is 85% contained.

There is another wildfire that doesn’t qualify to be on the NWCC Large Wildfire map and that fire is near Canyonville. Here is a summary of the details revealed in a story on KPTV.com which I’ve put in a similar format to the NWCC reports.

The Milepost 97 fire: Located off Interstate 5 near milepost 97 in Douglas County, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 150 Thursday 7.25.19 (according to Douglas Forest Protective Association). The fuel/terrain is old growth timber and brush on a steep rocky hillside. It started on 7/22/19 and the cause is listed human caused/an illegal campfire. Residences threatened: 0 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 90 people, ? crews, multiple helicopters for water drops, and ? engines. The fire is ?% contained.

Oregon/Washington Wildfires 7.25.19 | Image by NWCC

We’ll jump to the next report which was the last one I published for the season.

Oregon-Washington Large Wildfire Map 8.5.19 | Image by NWCC

*The Mile Post 97 fire: Located 1 miles south of Canyonville, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 13,119. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 7/24/19 and the cause is listed as human. Residences threatened: 586 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 1,326 people, 47 crews, 18 helicopters, and 42 engines. The fire is 55% contained.

*The East Evans Creek fire: Located 10 miles northwest of Sams Valley, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 155. The fuel/terrain is timber, brush.  It started on 8/2/19 and the cause is listed as human. Single Residences threatened: 5 Multiple residences threatened: 5 mixed commercial/residential: 5 Residences damaged: Residences destroyed: 1: Resources being used: 208 people, 6 crews, 7 helicopters, and 13 engines. The fire is 27% contained.

*The McKay Butte fire: No update was available. *The Granite Gulch fire: No summary available.

The wildfire season was busy for all of those involved in fighting and controlling those fires, but it is obvious that it was not nearly as bad as the previous few years. Now what’s new for the firefighters to use for next year’s wildfire season?

What follows is an explanation for the something new phrase in the headline for this article. In journalism what I have done is “bury the lead” meaning I left the most important thing wait until much later in the story. Researchers at Stanford University have developed a fire retardant additive that has an additional function. The cellulose-based gel-like fluid also actually helps to prevent future fires. In an article published in Physics.org (phys.org) by Stanford titled “Researchers develop a gel-like fluid to prevent wildfires” the revolutionary additive was explained. The research was originally published in the September issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Airplane Fire Retardant Drop | Photo by mentalfloss.com

Quoting the phys.org article “Applied to ignition-prone areas, these materials retain their ability to prevent fires throughout the the peak fire season, even after weathering that would sweep away conventional fire retardants. By stopping fires from starting, such treatments can be more effective and less expensive that current firefighting methods.

Eric Appel, Stanford | Photo by news.stanford.edu

Senior author and an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford, Eric Appel, is quoted as saying “This has the potential to make wildland firefighting much more proactive. What we do now is monitor wildfire-prone areas and wait with baited breath for fires to start, then rush to put them out.”

Grassy Test Area Treated and Untreated Areas | Image by keur.org

Having this new treatment could mean getting a jump on fires that occur in normally fire-prone areas, like highway rest stops, etc. before they even start. The treatment would last through rain, wind, etc. through at least most of the fire season unlike most fire retardants that dissolve away through weathering. What we need is another fire season next year that is similar to this year’s with fewer fires burning less acreage. It will be interesting to see just how well the new additive works.

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

The Wildfire Season Is Really Underway. *(Updated Friday 8/5/19)

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I recently wrote about the fact that our wildfire season was relatively quiet so far and tried not to say it too loudly so as to jinks the whole thing. As usual, as soon as you say not much is happening all you-know-what breaks loose. We have even had small wildfire nearby.

Oregon/Washington Wildfires 7.25.19 | Image by NWCC

There are currently three large wildfires in Oregon and six large wildfires in Washington State as of Thursday 7.25.19 according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC). The following is the summary of the three Oregon Wildfires.

The Drummond Basin fire: Located 32 miles south of Jordan Valley, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 2,410. The fuel/terrain is grass.  It started on 7/23/19 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 0 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 25 people, 0 crews, 1 helicopter, and 6 engines. The fire is 95% contained.

The Miller Island fire: Located 2 miles east of Wishram, Washington. The number of acres involved is 900. The fuel/terrain is grass.  It started on 7/23/19 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 0 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 28 people, 1 crews, 0 helicopter, and 2 engines. The fire is 100% contained.

The Round Butte fire: Located 30 miles south of Burns, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 1,209. The fuel/terrain is Juniper, grass and sagebrush.  It started on 7/22/19 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 0 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 40 people, 0 crews, 0 helicopters, and 7 engines. The fire is 85% contained.

Milepost 97 Wildfire 7.25.19 | Photo by Douglas Forest Protective Association through kptv.com

There is another wildfire that doesn’t qualify to be on the NWCC Large Wildfire map and that fire is near Canyonville. Here is a summary of the details revealed in a story on KPTV.com which I’ve put in a similar format to the NWCC reports.

The Milepost 97 fire: Located off Interstate 5 near milepost 97 in Douglas County, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 150 Thursday 7.25.19 (according to Douglas Forest Protective Association). The fuel/terrain is old growth timber and brush on a steep rocky hillside. It started on 7/22/19 and the cause is listed human caused/an illegal campfire. Residences threatened: 0 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 90 people, ? crews, multiple helicopters for water drops, and ? engines. The fire is ?% contained.

Wildfire safety
Wildfire Safety Tips | Image by scoopnest.com

This latest fire (The Milepost 97 fire) was started by an illegal campfire so that shows the rules are not always followed. Check out the wildfire safety tips in the above graphic and adhere to them. Carelessness is not an excuse for starting a potentially dangerous and deadly wildfire.

Oregon-Washington Wildfire Map 7.27,19 | Image NWCC

Now let’s move forward two days and what do we find? Six wildfires in Washington but two remain in Oregon. The Milepost 97 fire now qualifies as a Large Wildfire. There is a new wildfire in Oregon. Here are the details.

The Mile Post 97 fire: Located 1 miles south of Canyonville, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 8,800. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 7/24/19 and the cause is listed as human. Residences threatened: 100 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 69 people, 1 crew, 6 helicopters, and 5 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

The Drummond Basin fire: Located 35 miles south of Jordan Valley, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 2,410. The fuel/terrain is grass.  It started on 7/23/19 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 0 other structures threatened: 2 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 10 people, 0 crews, 0 helicopters, and 3 engines. The fire is 95% contained.

Oregon-Washington Wildfire Map 7.28.19 | Image by NWCC

A check of the NWCC updated map for Sunday 7/28/19 shows only one wildfire left in Oregon and six in Washington. As you can see, the Milepost 97 fire has continued to grow and is not contained.

The Mile Post 97 fire: Located 1 miles south of Canyonville, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 11,009. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 7/24/19 and the cause is listed as human. Residences threatened: 586 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 931 people, 37 crew, 6 helicopters, and 41 engines. The fire is 5% contained.

Oregon-Washington Wildfires | Image by NWCC

Following the wildfire situation through Friday 8/2/19 shows that the  Mile Post 97 fire continues to ravage the countryside and another fire is listed. In addition to the two Oregon wildfires three are listed in Washington. Here is the updated information.

The Mile Post 97 fire: Located 1 miles south of Canyonville, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 13,085. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 7/24/19 and the cause is listed as human. Residences threatened: 586 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 1,482 people, 49 crews, 18 helicopters, and 413 engines. The fire is 35% contained.

The McKay Butte fire: Located 4 miles northeast of Crescent, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 170. The fuel/terrain is grass.  It started on 7/23/19 and the cause is listed as under investigation. Residences threatened: 0 other structures threatened: 10. Resources being used: 160 people, 5 crews, 0 helicopters, and 10 engines. The fire is 80% contained.

Oregon-Washington Large Wildfire Map 8.5.19 | Image by NWCC

The wildfire map that should be above is not currently available due to technical difficulties. It will be added as soon as possible. It’s time for another wildfire update. This update is as of Monday 8/5/19.

*The Mile Post 97 fire: Located 1 miles south of Canyonville, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 13,119. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 7/24/19 and the cause is listed as human. Residences threatened: 586 other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 1,326 people, 47 crews, 18 helicopters, and 42 engines. The fire is 55% contained.

*The East Evans Creek fire: Located 10 miles northwest of Sams Valley, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 155. The fuel/terrain is timber, brush.  It started on 8/2/19 and the cause is listed as human. Single Residences threatened: 5 Multiple residences threatened: 5 mixed commercial/residential: 5 Residences damaged: Residences destroyed: 1: Resources being used: 208 people, 6 crews, 7 helicopters, and 13 engines. The fire is 27% contained.

*The McKay Butte fire: No update was available. *The Granite Gulch fire: No summary available. As you can see the Milepost 97 wildfire

For the latest updates you can go to: http://https://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/index.aspx and click on the Large Map. There is still a lot of time between now and the beginning of the rain season for the wildfires to continue to be a problem.

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

The Wildfire Season Has Really Fired Up.

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My last report on the Oregon wildfire situation was a very positive one with only one active large wildfire burning. As you can see on the map below that fire didn’t seem to be terribly important. There was also one fire in progress in Washington. The thing to remember is that all wildfires have serious consequences.

6.30.18 Wildfire Map
NWCC Wildfire map 6.30.18 | Image by NWCC

Here we are less than one month later and there are 10 wildfires raging in Oregon and 4 in Washington.

Oregon/Washington Wildfires 7.20.18 | Image by NWCC

Here is the current list as of Sunday July 22nd.

Cemetery Wildfire
Cemetery Wildfire | Photo by Bend Bulletin

The Cemetery fire: Located 32 miles east southeast of Prineville, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 1,414. The fuel/terrain is tall grass, brush, and timber.  It started on 7/1/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 0 single residences, Other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 149 people, 4 crews, 1 helicopters, and 7 engines*. The fire is 95% contained*.

The Garner Complex fire: Located 17 miles northeast of Grants Pass and 10 miles south of Grants Pass*, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 7,949*. The fuel/terrain is grass, litter, and understory.  It started on 7/15/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 393 single residences*, Other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 1,834 people, 59 crews, 26 helicopters, and 74 engines. The fire is 10% contained.

The Granite fire: (Now included in The Hendrix fire listed below) Located 9 miles northwest of Selma, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 233. The fuel/terrain is grass, hardwood litter and brush.  It started on 7/16/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 12 single residences, Other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 2 people, 0 crews, 0 helicopters, and 0 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

The Hendrix fire: Located 3 miles southwest of Ashland, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 830. The fuel/terrain is timber.  It started on 7/15/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 10 single residences, Other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 520 people, 14 crews, 5 helicopters, and 21 engines*. The fire is 15% contained*.

The Klondike fire (Now includes the Granite fire): Located 9 miles northwest of Selma, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 2,169*. The fuel/terrain is hardwood litter and brush.  It started on 7/15/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 12 single residences, Other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 42 people, 0 crews, 0 helicopters, and 0 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

The Natchez fire: Located 15 miles southeast of Cave Junction, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 1,372*. The fuel/terrain is timber, chaparral, and hardwood litter.  It started on 7/15/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 0 single residences, Other structures threatened: 1 nonresidential commercial property*. Resources being used: 283 people, 7 crews, 5 helicopters, and 10 engines*. The fire is 0% contained.

The South Umpqua Complex fire: Located 45 miles southeast of Roseburg, Oregon (Tiller Ranger District. The number of acres involved is 2,229. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 7/15/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 6 single residences, Other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 964 people, 30 crews, 5 helicopters, and 31 engines. The fire is 10% contained.

SubstationFire
SubstationFire | Photo by Wildfire Today

The Substation fire: Located 5 miles south of The Dalles, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 79,121. The fuel/terrain is grass, brush. It started on 7/15/18 and the cause is listed as Under investigation. Residences threatened: 1,188 single residences, Other structures threatened: 45 nonresidential commercial property and 130 other minor structures. Resources being used: 286 people, 40 crews, 5 helicopters, and 22 engines. The fire is 82% contained.

The Sugar Pine fire: Located 12 miles northwest of Prospect, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 160. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 7/15/18 and the cause is listed as under investigation. Residences threatened: 0 single residences, Other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 328 people, 10 crews, 0 helicopters, and 21 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

The Timber Crater 6 fire: Located 8 miles southeast of Diamond Lake, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 1,190*. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 7/15/18 and the cause is listed as lightning. Residences threatened: 0 single residences, Other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 340 people, 14 crews, 2 helicopters, and 1 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

Wildfire Map
Updated Oregon/Washington Wildfire Map 7.22.18 | Image by NWCC

Now here is the final update as of Sunday 7/22/18. I have updated the fires listed above (Updated items have an * after them.). Below are the 3 new fires that have developed.

The Round Top fire: Located 8 miles north of Prospect, OR, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 104. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 7/15/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 0 single residences, Other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 142 people, 5 crews, 0 helicopters, and 9 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

The Union fire: Located 10 miles northeast of Prospect, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 104. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 7/16/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 0 single residences, Other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 142 people, 5 crews, 0 helicopters, and 10 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

Wagner Wildfire
Wagner (Creek) Complex Wildfire | Photo by Statesman Journal

The Wagner Complex fire: Located in Jackson County, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 250. The fuel/terrain is timber, brush, and grass. It started on 7/15/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 30 single residences, Other structures threatened: 0 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 336 people, 14 crews, 9 helicopters, and 27 engines. The fire is 61% contained.

That gives us 13 wildfires currently ravaging various parts of Oregon. We still have a lot of Summer early Fall left for these fires to continue and possibly even more to start up due to lightning strikes or careless people. We can only hope for an early return of our rain season. Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain.

You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].

Ready Or Not It Has Started And Will Continue.

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When I started my research for this article on Wednesday June 27th there were three. That’s three too many by anyone’s standards. We’ve seen them before and last year was a particularly bad season for them. I’m talking about wildfires.

Oregon Wildfires 6.26.18
Oregon Wildfires As Of Wednesday 6.26.18 Image by NWCC

We are way behind normal for rainfall. If we take a look at the statistics for Eugene. As of Sunday July 1st the precipitation total for Eugene measured at the Mahlon Sweet Airport is 30.77 inches for the rain year that runs from October 1st through September 30th. That is 12.87 inches below normal so far. For the calendar year that began January 1st the total so far is 16.76 inches which is 8.08 inches below normal so far. That is very dry and much of the state of Oregon is experiencing similar conditions. The lack of moisture combined with the potential of lightning caused, and sadly human caused, wildfires is increased.

There aren’t as many wildfires in this second update as there were in the update from June 27th, but those still burning have causing considerable damage.

Oregon Wildfires 6.28.19
Oregon Wildfires 6.28.18 | Image by NWCC

The Boxcar fire: Located 1 miles east of Maupin, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 100,207. The fuel/terrain is grass.  It started on 6/21/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 50 single residences, Other structures threatened: 5 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 320 people, 7 crews, 0 helicopters, and 21 engines. The fire is 86% contained.

Boxcar Wildfire
Boxcar Wildfire Central Oregon 6.23.18 | Photo by OPB.org

The Jack Knife fire: Located 11 miles southeast of Grass Valley, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 15,676. The fuel/terrain is grass, brush, timber.  It started on 6/22/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 10 single residences, Other structures threatened: 0. Resources being used: 104 people, 3 crews, 0 helicopters, and 10 engines. The fire is 90% contained.

Jack Knife Wildfire
JackKnife Wildfire 6.29.18 | Photo by Central Oregon Fire Info through blogger

It looks like the two fires are well on their way to being 100% contained, but you have to remember that it doesn’t mean that the fires are out only that they aren’t spreading.

What kind of a summer can we look forward to you might ask. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a Climate Prediction Center (NCEP) which prepares and publishes various outlooks for temperature and precipitation.

The 90-day Temperature Outlook, according to their computer models, shows that we have a 60-70 percent probability of above average temperatures through the months of July, August, and September.

90-Day Temperature Outlook
90-Day Temperature Outlook | Image by cpc.ncep.noaa.gov

The NCEP 90-day Precipitation outlook for July, August, and September shows a 40 percent chance of a dryer than normal period for July, August, and September in Western Oregon.

90-Day Precipitation Outlook
90-Day Precipitation Outlook | Image by cpc.ncep.noaa.gov

When you add those two outlooks together they might just spell  “wildfires.” We can hope that the public will be careful with any burning materials, but we have absolutely no control over wildfires that are started by lightning strikes.

What can you do to help prevent wildfires? The National Weather Service has the following guidelines to help us out.

Wildfire Safety
Wildfire Safety Tips | Image by weather.gov through Port Jeffers Village

Let’s take another look at the NWCC Wildfire map. As of Saturday 6.30.18 There was one fire listed in Oregon and that is the Boxcar fire.

6.30.18 Wildfire Map
NWCC Wildfire map 6.30.18 | Image by NWCC

The Boxcar fire: Located 1 miles east of Maupin, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 100,207. The fuel/terrain is grass.  It started on 6/21/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 50 single residences, Other structures threatened: 5 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 320 people, 7 crews, 0 helicopters, and 21 engines. The fire is 90% contained.

The only notable difference from the previous update is that the fire is 90% contained instead of 86% contained on 6.28.18 which actually in a significant improvement.

Wildfires 7.1.18
NWCC Wildfires 7.1.18 | Image by NWCC

Now we’ll take one last look at the Oregon Wildfire situation before this column is published. Above is the updated map for Sunday 7.1.18.

The Boxcar fire: Located 1 miles east of Maupin, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 100,207. The fuel/terrain is grass.  It started on 6/21/18 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened: 50 single residences, Other structures threatened: 5 nonresidential commercial property. Resources being used: 320 people, 7 crews, 0 helicopters, and 21 engines. The fire is 90% contained. That shows no change since the previous report.

The Lime Hill 2 fire: Located in Lime Hill, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 361. The fuel/terrain is grass, brush.  It started on 6/30/18 and the cause is listed as human caused. Residences threatened: 0, Other structures threatened: 0. Resources being used: 0 people, 0 crews, 0 helicopters, and 0 engines. The fire is 5% contained. This fire may be relatively small, but it just started one day ago.

The fires listed are only the large fires occurring at this time in Oregon. We all have to be careful with any kind of burning materials with conditions this dry. We can’t prevent the lightning caused fires, but we can make sure that we are not the ones starting the human caused fires. As Smokey Bear says now “Only you can prevent wildfires.”

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

This Is The Last Time I’ll Talk About It, This Year.

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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 Feels Like We’re Living In A Johnny Cash Song Lyric.

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.

Wildfire Map
Current Wildfire Map | Image by NWCC

Here is the current list of the 4 remaining Oregon wildfires and their descriptions:

Chetco Bar Fire
Chetco Bar Fire | Photo by triplicate.com

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.

Eagle Creek Wildfire
Eagle Creek Wildfire | Photo by wikimedia.org

*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.

High Cascades Complex Wildfire
High Cascades Complex Wildfire| Photo by inciweb.nwcc.gov

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.

Wildfire
Jones Wildfire | Photo by Facebook.com/WillametteWildfires2017

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].

It Feels Like We’re Living In A Johnny Cash Song Lyric.

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It was written as a love song about the relationship between two people. Their relationship was fraught with turmoil, but one line from this iconic Johnny Cash song, that was written by June Carter Cash and Merle Kilgore, certainly fits our current situation. The song is “Ring of Fire” and the line that fits our predicament is ” I Fell Into A Burnin’ Ring of Fire, I Went Down, Down Down, And the Flames Went Higher.” Just in case you don’t know the song here it is from Youtube.

I find it interesting that the network newscasts spend a lot of time talking about the fires threatening Los Angeles, California and hardly mention, if at all, the fact that so much of Oregon is going up in flames.

I have taken up space for two articles in this column about the wildfires and I really didn’t want to write another one, but I thought it very important to show you just how serious our fire situation is and that it will remain so for some time to come.

First let’s take a look at the total raw numbers to get an overall picture of the wildfire situation. As of Sunday 9.10.17 there are a total of 17 large wildfires in the state of Oregon. If my calculations are correct they comprise total of 474,676 acres with 14,398 people fighting the fires and a myriad of helicopters and fire engines too. We’ll take a closer look at each fire.

Chetco Bar Fire
Chetco Bar Fire | Photo by triplicate.com

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 182,284. The fuel is timber, brush, Closed-canopy understory litter. It started on 7/12/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 8,523 single residences (1 damaged, 6 destroyed), 3,713 non-residential commercial and 50 other minor structures (8 damaged, 24 destroyed).  Resources being used: 1,421 people, 42 crews, 7 helicopters, and 47 engines. The fire is 5% contained.

Eagle Creek Wildfire
Eagle Creek Wildfire | Photo by wikimedia.org

*The Eagle Creek fire: Located 1 mile south of Cascade Locks, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 33,382. The fuel is timber. It started on 9/2/17 and the cause is listed as human caused -under investigation. Residences threatened- 5,230 single residences (4 destroyed). Resources being used: 969 people, 21 crews, 10 helicopters, and 96 engines. The fire is 7% 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 Falcon Complex fire: Located 25 miles east of Tiller, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 2,935. The fuel is timber. It started on 8/8/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 5 single residences and 15 minor structures. Resources being used: 225 people, 6 crews, 1 helicopters, and 14 engines. The fire is 62% contained.

High
High Cascades Complex Wildfire| Photo by inciweb.nwcc.gov

The High Cascades Complex fire: Located 9 miles northeast of Prospect, Oregon. The number of acres involved 70,654. The fuel is timber (litter and understory). It started on 8/12/17 and the cause is listed as under investigation. Resources being used: 424 people, 16 crews, 6 helicopters, and 39 engines. The fire is 21% contained.

The Horse Creek Complex fire: Located Willamette National Forest south of highway 126 and E of FS Rd 19, Oregon. The number of acres involved 29,417. The fuel is timber, litter and light logging slash. It started on 8/21/17 and the cause is listed as unknown. Residences Threatened- 42 single residences, 691 mixed commercial/residential. Resources being used: 776 people, 28 crews, 8 helicopters, and 13 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

The Horse Prairie fire: Located 15 miles northwest of Canyonville, Oregon. The number of acres involved 16,436. The fuel is timber, litter and understory) and medium logging slash. It started on 8/26/17 and the cause is listed as unknown. Residences Threatened- 9 single residences, 2 other minor structures destroyed. Resources being used: 776 people, 28 crews, 8 helicopters, and 13 engines. The fire is 40% contained.

The Jones fire: Located at 10 miles northeast of Lowell, Oregon. The number of acres involved 8,536. The fuel 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. Residences threatened- 4 single residences and 1 minor structure (1 minor structure destroyed. Resources being used: 406 people, 12 crews, 3 helicopters, and 17 engines. The fire is 48% contained.

Miller Complex Wildfire
Miller Complex Wildfire | Photo by inciweb.nwcc.gov

The Miller Complex fire: Located 17 miles east of Cave Junction, Oregon. The number of acres involved 34,172. The fuel is mixed conifer understory with Shasta red fir dominance and numerous snags. It started on 8/14/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 182 single residences and 20 mixed commercial/residential, 5 minor structures threatened. Resources being used: 604 people, 15 crews, 6 helicopters, and 35 engines. The fire is 35% contained.

The Milli fire: Located at 9 miles west of Sisters, Oregon in the Deschutes National Forest and the Three Sisters Wilderness. The number of acres involved 24,025. The fuel is timber and brush. It started on 8/11/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 2,055 single residences. Resources being used: 59 people, 1 crew, 0 helicopters, and 5 engines. The fire is 60% contained.

The Nash fire: Located at 6  miles north of Elk Lake, Oregon. The number of acres involved 6,159. The fuel is timber. It started on 8/10/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 42 single residences, 3 mixed commercial/residential, 150 other minor structures threatened. Resources being used: 40 people, 1 crews, 1 helicopter, and 1 engine. The fire is 0% contained.

The North Pelican fire: Located on the North slope of Pelican Butte, Oregon. The number of acres involved 3,474. The fuel is closed timber litter; brush. It started on 8/10/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 200 single residences. Resources being used: 219 people, 5 crews, 0 helicopters, and 22 engines. The fire is 25% contained.

The Potato Hill fire: Located 20 miles northwest of Sisters, Oregon. The number of acres involved 199. The fuel is heavy logging slash and timber. It started on 8/29/17 and the cause is listed as unknown. Structures threatened- 2 non-residential commercial property. Resources being used: 11 people, 0 crews, 0 helicopters, and 2 engines. The fire is 95% contained.

The Rebel fire: Located 13 miles south of McKenzie Bridge, Oregon. The number of acres involved 7,784. The fuel is timber (litter and understory) and light logging slash. It started on 8/4/17 and the cause is listed as unknown. Resources being used: 55 people, 1 crew, 0 helicopters, and 4 engines. The fire is 19% contained.

The Rim fire: Located 6 miles east of Clear Lake, Oregon. The number of acres involved 250. The fuel is timber with grass and understory. It started on 10/3/17 and the cause is listed as unknown. Resources being used: 80 people, 2 crews, 0 helicopters, and 6 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

The Staley fire: 23 miles south of Oakridge, Oregon. The number of acres involved 2,300. The fuel is timber, brush. It started on 8/10/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Resources being used: 62 people, 2 crews, 0 helicopters, and 7 engines. The fire is 81% contained.

Umpqua North Complex Wildfire
Umpqua North Complex Wildfire | Photo by inciweb.nwcc.gov

The Umpqua North Complex fire: Located 50 miles east of Roseburg, Oregon along highway 138. The number of acres involved 39,529. The fuel is timber, tall grass, and brush. It started on 8/11/17 and the cause is listed as under investigation. Residences threatened- 79 single residences, 48 non residential structures (13 damaged), and 21 other minor structures (1  destroyed). Resources being used: 998 people, 19 crews, 5 helicopters, and 60 engines. The fire is 36% contained.

Whitewater Fire
Whitewater Fire | Photo by InciWeb through wtvz.com

*The Whitewater fire: Located 15 miles east of Detroit, Oregon. The number of acres involved 13,140. The fuel is timber, bush. It started on 7/23/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Residences threatened- 143 single residences;  1 mixed residential /commercial , 2 non-residential/commercial properties, and 54 other minor structures. Resources being used: 288 people, 5 crews, 4 helicopters, and 8 engines. The fire is 33% contained.

We did finally get some rain and a major wind shift which combined to finally bring our air quality back to GOOD. The rain did not do much for the fire situation though and that means it will be some time before the fires are fully contained. It will take even more time and effort to actually put out all of those fires. The rain season getting started is the best cure for this massive wildfire situation and would greatly aid the firefighting operations.

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

Have You Noticed That It’s Very Dry Out There?

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Yes, this is the dry season and it is really getting dry all over the Pacific Northwest. I was sitting in my living room when I noticed a rather strong smell of smoke coming through the open windows. I have experienced the same situation many times in the past and the answer is almost always the same. That answer is a wildfire. There was one in Oakridge, Oregon July 25th and the smoke made its way to Eugene. It seems a dead tree fell onto power lines starting a fire which destroyed a home. Brisk winds spread the flame which spawned a grass fire. Highway 58 through Oakridge was closed from about 2 pm until 6:15 pm.

"Wildfires"
“Wildfires” | Image by chumstickcoalition.org

There are some serious large wildfires scattered over the state of Oregon so let’s take a look at where they are and what is being done to fight them. The following wildfire summaries were prepared by the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC). I  started monitoring the site for this column on Monday 7/24/17.

Large Wildfire Map
Large Wildfire Map 7/29/17| Image by NWCC

The Blanket Creek fire: Located 9 miles northeast of Prospect, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 624. The fuel is timber (litter and understory). It started on 7/23/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural.  Resources being used: 350 people, 9 crews, 0 helicopters, and 4 engines. The fire is 3% contained.

The Bowden fire: Located 22 miles south of Rome, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 17,773. It started on 7/24/17 and the cause is listed as under investigation.  Removed from list.

The Chetco Bar fire: Located Kalmiopsis Wilderness, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 2,181. The fuel is timber, brush, Closed timber litter. It started on 7/12/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural.  Resources being used: 131 people, 3 crews, 2 helicopters, and 0 engines. The fire is 0% contained

Crane Creek Fire
Aerial View Of Crane Creek Fire | Photo by Mike Leach, ODF through blogspot.com

The Crane fire: Located 4 miles southeast of Lakeview, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 602. The fuel is grass and understory.  It started on 7/24/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Resources being used: 159 people, 5 crews, 5 helicopters, and 3 engines. The fire is 40% contained.

The Dry Creek Buttes fire: Located 23 miles west of Adrian, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 3,000. The fuel is brush, grass. It started on 7/28/17 and the cause is listed as unknown. Resources being used: 135 people, 1 crews, 0 helicopters, and 17 engines. The fire is 20% contained.

Emerson Fire
Emerson Fire Near Madras | Photo by Pat Boyle FM News 101 at kxl.com

The Emerson fire: Located 4 miles northeast of Madras, Oregon. The number of acres involved 10,527. The fuel is tall grass and brush. It started on 7/25/17 and the cause is listed as human. Resources being used: 92 people, 2 crews, 0 helicopters, and 9 engines. The fire is 70% contained.

The Hawk fire: Located 10 miles northwest of Jordan Valley, Oregon. The number of acres involved 1,412. The fuel is brush and short grass. It started on 7/27/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Singe residences threatened- 1. Resources being used: 56 people, 0 crew, 1 helicopter, and 12 engines. The fire is 75% contained.

The Haystack fire: Located 11 miles southwest of Adrian, Oregon. The number of acres involved 512. The fuel is short grass and brush. It started on 7/28/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Resources being used: 69 people, 1 crews, 0 helicopters, and 13 engines. The fire is 90% contained.

The Indian Creek fire: Located Eagle Creek Trail System, Oregon. The number of acres involved 74. The fuel is timber (litter and understory). It started on 7/04/17 and the cause is listed as under investigation. Resources being used: 66 people, 1 crews, 2 helicopters, and 0 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

The Oxbow fire: Located at Adrian, Oregon. The number of acres involved 1,454. The fuel is brush; tall grass . It started on 7/28/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Resources being used: 54 people, 0 crews, 0 helicopters, and 14 engines. The fire is 80% contained.

The Upper Mine fire: Located 8 miles south of Fields, Oregon. The number of acres involved 4,135. The fuel is grass, brush. It started on 7/24/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Resources being used: 120 people, 2 crews, 0 helicopters, and 14 engines. The fire is 85% contained.

Whitewater Fire
Whitewater Fire | Photo by InciWeb through wtvz.com

The Whitewater fire: Located at Whitewater Creek, Mount Jefferson Wilderness, Oregon. The number of acres involved 99. 1 minor structure threatened. Resources being used: 127 people, 3 crews, 4 helicopters, and 0 engines. The fire is 60% contained.

The Wildcat fire: Located 1 mile south of Green Mountain Lookout, Oregon. The number of acres involved 657. The fuel is tall grass and the terrain is brush. It started on 7/24/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Resources being used: 31 people, 1 crew, 0 helicopters, and 2 engines. Removed from list.

Wildfire Map
Large Wildfire Map 7/30/17 | Image by NWCC

The wildfire information listed here is as of 8:00 PM Sunday 7/30/17. If you wish to continue monitoring the Oregon wildfires you can go to the NWCC interactive map and see the updated information  at the  NWCC webpage. A last check at the current fire danger at publication time is as follows: Fire Danger is Extreme in the Central Oregon District, the Douglas Forest Protective Association, The Klamath Lake District, Northeast Oregon District, the Southwest  Oregon District, and The WalkerRange Fire Patrol Association;  Fire Danger is High in the Coos Forest Protective Association, The North Cascade District, South Cascade District, the Western Lane District, and the West Oregon District; The Fire Danger is Moderate in the Northwest Oregon Protection District. With the extreme heating we are experiencing those areas could be expanded and the danger level raised at any time.

Fire Safety Tips
Fire Safety Tips | Image by treadlightly.org

With the very hot temperatures and very dry grass and brush extra care must be taken with any burning materials whether they be cigarettes or campfire. Also, be careful where you park your car. Parking off the side of the road in the grass or anywhere with grass under the vehicle can be an extreme fire hazard. The engine, muffler and tailpipe get very hot particularly in this extreme weather. They can catch the grass or brush under your vehicle on fire very quickly. Please be careful whether you are in the city or out in the forest.

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

Very Hot + Very Dry = Oregon Wildfires

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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].

The Temperature Improved, But Not The Fire Danger.

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It seems like “Deja vu all over again” as the famous Yogi Berra liked to say. Another horrendous fire on the south side of Eugene destroyed property, but there were no fatalities or injuries. The Southtown Lanes Bowling Center was gutted, but the Eugene Fire Department personnel contained the blaze to just that one building. Their heroic efforts kept the fire from spreading out to other businesses and the homes that were nearby. The contents of the old building were many wooden bowling alleys that had multiple layers of varnish and wax which would burn very easily and very hot. There was a noticeable difference between the smoke from this fire and the smoke from the Civic Stadium fire. Civic Stadium smoke just smelled like burning wood. The smoke from Southtown had the burning wood smell, but also had a sweet smell mixed in with it. My guess is that smell came from the varnish and wax used to make the alleys so slippery for the bowling balls to roll properly toward the pins.

Southtown Bowling Center Fire | Photo by clr91(@) )talk
Southtown Lanes Bowling Center Fire | Photo by clr91(@criley91)|talk|twitter.com

As of this writing no cause has been determined for the Southtown Bowling Center fire. It seems pretty obvious that if that fire had spread to nearby buildings it would have been a much worse catastrophe. The owners of Southtown Lanes Bowling Center posted a thank you to all of those wishing them well and especially their loyal customers on their website.

I last gave you an update in the wildfire situation in Oregon in an article The Heat May Be Gone, But Not The Fires. published July 13th. There are still significant wildfires burning in the Pacific Northwest. Here is the latest Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC) Northwest Large Fire Interactive Map.

Now here is the current list of large active wildfires in Oregon and their status updated as of this article’s publication. The worst of the current wildfires is the Stouts Creek fire which, at last report, has burned over 21,000 acres. There are nine large wildfires presently burning in the state of Oregon.

1) 153 West Fork fire – 10 miles SE of Dayville, covers 924 acres, cause: under investigation, 79% contained, total people: 137, crews: 3, helicopters: 0, engines: 9.

Cable Crossing Fire | wildfireoregondeptofforests.blogspot.com
Cable Crossing Fire | Photo by wildfireoregondeptofforests.blogspot.com

2) Cable Crossing fire – 6 miles E of Glide, covers 1,857 acres, cause: under investigation, 80% contained, total people: 375, crews: 14, helicopters: 5, engines: 15.

3) Collier Butte fire – 17 miles E of Gold Beach, covers 1,762 acres, cause: under investigation, 0% contained, total people: 435, crews:13, helicopters: 7, engines: 9.

4) D L Potter Mountain Complex fire – 28 miles S of Oakridge, covers 315 acres, cause: under investigation, 50% contained, total people: 152, crews: 4,helicopters: 4, engines: 6.

Lime Hill Fire | www.scrippsmedia.com
Lime Hill Fire (New Mexico Firefighters) | Photo by www.scrippsmedia.com

5) Lime Hill fire – Huntington, covers 12,024 acres, cause: under investigation, 95% contained, total people: 220, crews: 4, helicopters: 5, engines: 22.

6) National Creek Complex fire – 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake, covers 322 acres, cause: under investigation, 5% contained, total people: 225, crews: 6, helicopters: 4, engines: 6.

7) Phillips Creek fire – 7 miles NW of Elgin, covers 2,250 acres, cause: under investigation, 38% contained, total people: 732, crews: 20,helicopters: 5, engines: 13.

Stouts Creek Fire | Photo by inciweb.nwcg.cog
Stouts Creek Fire | Photo by inciweb.nwcg.cog

8) Stouts Creek fire – 16 miles E of Canyonville, covers 21,858 acres, cause: under investigation, 30% contained, total people: 1,628, crews: 62, helicopters: 16, engines: 47.

9) 0513 RN fire – 12 miles E of Warm Springs, covers 900 acres, cause: under investigation, 0% contained, total people: 0, crews: 0, helicopters: 0, engines: 0.

When you find out how many people and how much equipment it takes to fight these fires you can easily see that it takes an incredible effort to fight these wildfires and get them under control. There is rain in the forecast for most of the state of Oregon, but the amount of actual precipitation that falls doesn’t look very impressive. The chances of measurable precipitation run from slight (20%) to less than a 50-50 chance (30%-40%) so it doesn’t look like nature will lend any help to fight these fires. We have to hope that thunderstorms do not form because that usually means more lightning strikes which can and often do start even more wildfires. Remember, there is no actual cut-off date for the wildfire season. Two things will help end the season. The first is that no new fires develop and the second is significant rainfall to wet down the trees, grass, etc. which can burn.

We can all hope that the rain season finds a way to start early this year if we have any hope of getting the wildfire situation under control.

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

 

Fires Burn Near Eugene, Cottage Grove

9-2 cg grass fire 2 - courtesy Sage Lynn CarmanEUGENE, Ore. — Crews are still on the scene of a brush fire that broke out just west of Eugene Wednesday night.

The fire is near West 11th Avenue and Greenhill Road. So far it has burned about 40 acres.

Although most of the fire was extinguished Wednesday night, as the sun came up and winds picked up, embers re-ignited. There’s no word on how the fire started.

Crews from Oregon Department of Forestry and Lane Fire Authority will be on scene all day.

A second fire broke out south of Eugene, and it briefly closed I-5 Wednesday. The fire was along I-5 northbound near the Cottage Grove exit.

South Lane County Fire & Rescue says the fire did threaten some homes on the west side of Sears Road.

Crews flanked the fire and kept it from getting to the homes. Officials say that fire is now completely out.

Photo courtesy Sage Lynn Carman.