Firefighters Dipping into River Levels

NEAR GALICE, Ore. — This year began with lower than average water levels, and with the firefight, helicopters and other resources have been dipping into the Rogue River to drop on the nearby fires.

A single bucket drop is typically 800 gallons and the helicopters, when running, work for several hours at a time making dozens of dips.

Despite all those dips into the Rogue, officials with the Army Corps of Engineers at Lost Creek Lake say it has no impact on water levels or how much water is being released. 400,000 gallons come into Lost Creek Lake per minute and officials say a few dozen 800 gallon dips per day is hardly a “drop in the bucket.”

“Having the helicopters dip 800 gallons, 1,000 gallons per dip, we see absolutely no change to the water level based on that,” said Jim Buck, with the Army Corps of Engineers.

The lake holds 110 billion gallons of water, and water levels are typically lowered 60 feet by November 1st.