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North River Road Fire Scorches 500 Acres

Apart from the tsunami, one other big natural disaster that made local headlines in 2011 was the Rogue River Fire, also called the North River Road Fire.

Hundreds of firefighters responded to initial reports of multiple fires on August 18th. It ultimately was one giant fire that scorched over 500 acres near the city of Rogue River before being contained.

Multiple agencies from Klamath Falls, Eugene and other communities came to help. Governor Kitzhaber cleared the way for state assistance in fighting the fire.

ODF believes the fire may have been caused by a faulty catalytic converter of a vehicle dragging something that was throwing sparks. One business, a car, and several outbuildings were burned, but no homes were damaged.

Here at NewsWatch12, we received 100 photos on our Facebook page, showing the fire from multiple perspectives.

Along with hundreds of firefighters responding, there were 8 bulldozers, 5 helicopters and a retardant bomber. The massive plane is one of the most expensive fire fighting tools available. Its quick turn around, because of a fast refueling of retardant, the air tanker can make a lot of trips. Each trip is costly: everytime the plane takes off, it costs $12,000, but in the long run it saves the Department of Forestry thousands in other fire fighting costs.

This is not the first time the area of Tin Pan Peak has seen a wildfire. Oregon Department of Forestry officials say the area very is susceptible to fires. Brian Ballou with ODF says the area has burned several times over the decades. He calls it the “revolving cycle of burning.”