Incoming Storm Worries Fire Crews

8-4 gulch fireNEAR ASHLAND, Ore. – Firefighters got a brief stroke of luck heading into Monday morning.

After days of explosive growth, calm winds and overcast skies kept the Oregon Gulch fire to 36,568 acres. That’s a scant few thousand acres of growth from the day before, given the way the fire had been spreading.

But officers at fire camp say erratic afternoon winds on Monday forced them to step back and hope the work done Sunday night can hold.

“It has the potential, with the clearing conditions, winds, and so forth, to grow again,” said Public Information Officer Don Hickman. “But we do have some hard lines in there, so hopefully they’ll burn to those and we can get a little closer to the fire.”

Hickman says those conditions may hamper access for aircraft throughout the evening.

As of Monday afternoon, there are 1280 people fighting the Oregon Gulch Fire, along with 14 helicopters, 17 tenders, 44 engines, and a number of other vehicles.