NEAR ASHLAND, Ore. – In just 24 hours, the Oregon Gulch Fire has escalated from just a few hundred acres to 11 thousand. Thick smoke can be observed at the fire, and it continues to linger throughout the valley.
The Oregon Department of Forestry said the drought conditions have created extremely dry foliage, which paired with constantly shifting winds made the fire grow quickly.
Fire officials are using several resources to fight the fire including several hand crews, bulldozers, and aircraft support. Officials say they are facing many challenges while trying to get the fire under control.
Oregon Department of Forestry Public Information Officer Don Hickman talked about some of the many challenges faced by fire fighters working on the fire.
“One of them is just the heat, you know we have to make sure that we’re well hydrated and we have plenty of food on board to the point where we can function without succumbing to heat exhaustion,” said Hickman.
Fire fighters have also been faced with constantly shifting winds, making it difficult to find good vantage points to fight the fire with ground forces.
At this point, all crews and equipment working on this fire north of the Oregon border are from in-state, but fire officials are looking into pulling in other resources if needed.