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Firefighters Prepare for Dry Lightning

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WILLIAMS, Ore. –With dry lightning in the forecast, fire crews are preparing for more wildfire outbreaks.

The Pacifica Fire is 95 percent contained.  Fifty firefighters and one strike team remain at Pacifica Ranch on Wednesday.  The crews are mopping up hot spots in the area and are on standby in case another fire starts.

“They’re just out there doing something to be of some use, but primarily their purpose for being here in Southwest Oregon is to be available for new fire starts,” said Brian Ballou of the Oregon Department of Forestry.

According to Ballou, the chances of another wildfire starting up near Pacifica are unlikely because the hot spots remaining are deep in the middle and surrounded by land that has already been burned.

“The only way a new fire would start in this area at this time is if a lightning strike occurred more close to this fire itself,” said ODF crew member Kyle Holcombe.

ODF has other wildfire task forces are on-call as well.  Some gathered at ODF in Medford on Monday. Others remain at their stations until they are called out.

“We brought down some engines and some firefighters from our field offices up north to be here just in case the thunderstorm brings us some fresh fires,” said Ballou.

Costs are still being calculated for the Pacifica fire, but officials said it is going to cost a pretty penny.

“It’s probably in the neighborhood of $700,000 to $800,000… possibly higher,” said Ballou.