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Crews Respond to Lightning-Caused Fires

An Oregon Dept. of Forestry air tanker drops retardant on a lightning-caused fire in Douglas County July 26

An Oregon Dept. of Forestry air tanker drops retardant on a lightning-caused fire in Douglas County, July 26. Photo courtesy: Kyle Reed, Douglas Forest Protective Association.

MEDFORD, Ore. — Officials with the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Bureau of Land Management say about 60 fires have been reported due to early morning lightning. BLM says about 75 fires have been reported across Southwest Oregon this morning.

The Bureau of Land Management has updated information on the current response to the lightning-caused fires in Southern Oregon.

As of noon today, the Douglas Fire Protective Association reports 54 fires in their area, 32 of those are staffed. All but 10 or so are west of I-5. ODF and BLM report 19 fires; most are staffed – currently walking in to others.

There are at least 4 fires on the western part of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest forest. Smokejumpers, rappellers, and engine crews have been deployed.

The Forest also is working a fire on the High Cascades Ranger District near the northwest corner of Crater Lake National Park. This is connected to lightning that started about 12 fires on the Tiller Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest last night.

The BLM says aerial resources, including large helicopters and air tankers are being deployed to the priority fires as they arrive. Weather today will be hot with temperatures near 100 and winds 12-16 mph. Saturday, winds will be gusty up to 20 mph but temperatures will recede into the low 90′s.