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Local Firefighters Headed to Bend Fire

6-8 fire2ASHLAND, Ore. – It’s the first whiff of fire season as residents across the Rogue Valley awake to the nostalgic sight and smell of distant smoke.

“I looked outside and saw a haze above the mountains, and now it seems to have moved down into the valley,” said Ashland Resident Jennifer Jensen.

The smoke is from the Two Bulls fire raging through 6,000 acres of wild lands near Bend.

Brian Ballou, a spokesperson with the Oregon Department of Forestry in Central Point, says a fire that large is an anomaly for this time of the season.

“Getting a 6,000-acre fire early in June, that’s not a good sign,” said Ballou.

Now a four-person incident management team from ODF is pitching in, making it the first major offensive of the season for Southern Oregon crews. And depending on how it goes, they could be sending even more people.

Firefighters say many saw a season start like this coming, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the rest of the season has to go poorly.

“Everything has been human-caused so far,” said Ballou. “Human-caused fires can be stopped entirely.”

Thanks to today’s hazy reminder, some homeowners say they’re that much more motivated to do their part.

“I haven’t done absolutely everything yet, but that’s something I’m going to get on right away now that I’m seeing the possibility that it’s already starting,” said Jensen.