NEAR GALICE, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Forestry is splitting resources, trying to extinguish two wildfires; one near Butte Falls, the other near Galice that’s being called the Grave Creek Fire. It started Sunday evening and has continued to grow in size.
As of Monday afternoon, the Grave Creek Fire was at 26 acres. Dozens of fire fighters from different agencies are working the fire. The biggest challenge at the Grave Creek Fire is actually getting to the flames. Fire crews are working in very steep conditions. Fire officials said the steep terrain posed a danger to firefighters in making sure they didn’t lose their footing or run into snags.
The fire is embedded in the wild and scenic area near Grave Creek. Crews got the call Sunday evening around 6:30. Due to the location, their initial attack involved the help of two helicopters, one that consistently dumped water on the flames. Over night, what originally was 4 acres of fire turned into 15, and while the extremely dry fuels contributed to that growth, fire officials say it was the cool weather that played a key role in the fire fight effort.
A warning went out to local residents; as helicopters dipped into the creek for water, boaters were advised of the fire activity to avoid the tangling with helicopter lines. There are also a few road closures in effect, including the Rogue River Trail, Marial Road and Reuben Road. Fire crews will continue to work until the fire is 100% contained and fire investigators will work alongside them to determine the cause of that fire.