NEAR ASHLAND, Ore. – Hand crews and bulldozers sift through ash and burning logs under clear skies at Parker Mountain. The stormy weather has already come and gone, and within a few hours it’s already onto mop-up duty.
The 7-10 acre fire, just north of the main body of the Oregon Gulch fire, is one of a small handful of distractions forcing some teams off the fire and onto babysitting duty.
“We’ll still have resources out here checking this until there’s no chance of escape,” said Division Supervisor EJ Bunzendahl.
Despite Monday night’s storms, the Oregon Gulch fire didn’t grow at all – staying steady at 36,568 acres. Now lines are in place on all sides of the fire, with active flames limited to the southeastern front.
“We had a big day a couple days ago when the weather gave us a break,” said Deputy Incident Commander Link Smith. “We don’t have a complete hold on it, not complete comfort, but feeling way better every day.”
But with that hope comes some lingering concern.
Erratic afternoon winds have become the norm, and continued risk of spotty storms could mean more diversions and poor visibility.
“We haven’t reduced our staffing one bit here, right now we’re out there strengthening control lines,” said Smith.
Fire officials say the Oregon Gulch fire is completely lined as of Tuesday afternoon.