Smoldering Fire Left Over from Lightning

GOLD HILL, Ore. – The hacking of hand tools and the distant roar of chainsaws can be heard near Gold Hill. A helicopter drops buckets of water as thick plumes of smoke fill the air. For firefighters on the ground, it’s an easy day in the field. “The fire wasn’t really doing a whole lot,” … Continue reading »

O.D.F. Recon Flights to Spot Smoke

MEDFORD, Ore. — It’s been two days since thunderstorms moved through southern Oregon and although time has passed, lightning strikes still smolder and sometimes the best way to get a view of the smokes, is from  6,000 feet. “They’ve got a smoke report up Tolman Creek in Ashland, and we’re going to go fly over … Continue reading »

ODF Lookouts Keep Close Eye on Storms

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — When thunderstorms move into the area as they did on Tuesday afternoon, Fire Officials with the Oregon Department of Forestry are prepared to use all resources they have available. Lookout points are often perched on mountain tops, and the staff use their unique perspective to track storms, lightning strikes, and fires that … Continue reading »

Southwest Oregon Spared from Flames

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. – As more than 600,000 acres burn across the state, Southwest Oregon crews are still ready and waiting. Handfuls of southwest Department of Forestry firefighters have been shipping out one at a time to help with fires elsewhere. But the region has yet to see a major fire event. That’s obviously good … Continue reading »

Fire Danger Level Increasing to Extreme

MEDFORD, Ore. — Fire Danger will be increasing to Extreme Starting at Midnight July 19.  This impacts land protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in southwest Oregon. ODF says “a long period of temperatures hovering around 100 degrees has cooked southwest Oregon vegetation into a tinder-dry condition. ” The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) … Continue reading »

Governor Declares State of Emergency

MEDFORD, Ore. — A state of emergency has been verbally declared in Oregon by Governor Kitzhaber due to the severe fire season. The governor’s office says the emergency declaration enables the Oregon National Guard to mobilize resources on an as-needed basis to assist fire crews in the state. While no large wildfires are currently burning … Continue reading »

Timber Harvest on the Rise

MEDFORD, Ore. – Timber harvest in Oregon is up to its highest level in seven years. According to the Department of Forestry, the statewide timber harvest rose to 4.2 billion board feet, making four consecutive years of gains. The majority of that increase is on private, industrial lands, where yield rose 61%. Experts say the … Continue reading »

Grass Fire Near Gold Hill

GOLD HILL, Ore. —  Oregon Department of Transportation is working to finish up mowing some of the tall dry grass surrounded the roadways around the Rogue Valley as fire season gets worse. On Wendesday afternoon, though they took extra precautions and had water and fire officials on scene it was not enough to prevent a small … Continue reading »

Firefighters Ready for Lightning Ahead

BUTTE FALLS, Ore. – A group of Grayback Forestry firefighters carves through a section of woods near Butte Falls. The crew of 14, swinging hand tools and wielding chainsaws, is cutting a fireline for prescribed burning. It’s likely the last chance they’ll get to do fuel reduction work before the real action starts. “The window … Continue reading »

Fire Crews Watching the Forecast

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry will be keeping a close eye on the weather forecast over the next few days, watching for lightning-sparked fires. ODF said at one point Tuesday it was looking like Jackson and Josephine counties would be hit by thunderstorms, but the storms curved to the east to … Continue reading »

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