Firefighters respond to escaped burns in Josephine County

Some landowners were trying to clear fire hazard trees and brush on their property, but the burns spread out of control.

Posted: Mar 6, 2020 10:20 AM
Updated: Mar 6, 2020 10:21 AM

SUNNY VALLEY, Ore. — Firefighters responded to two slowly expanding brush fires in Josephine County on Thursday after flames from burn piles went out of control.

Rural Metro Fire said that the fires began as "good intentions" from private landowners in the area who were trying to clear fire hazard trees and brush. However, the fires continued to spread un-monitored — one along Horseshoe Drive in Colonial Valley, and one on King Mountain Trail in Sunny Valley.

"The piles of burning slash and debris escaped when conditions in the afternoon were at their driest and warmest, and no one was around to monitor the piles," Rural Metro said.

Both fires were contained at less than half an acre and no structures were damaged, the agency said. One engine crew responded to both fires within little more than an hour of one another.

"A change in weather may soon reduce the potential for escaped burns, but we will return to these warm and dry conditions again. Please burn responsibly," Rural Metro concluded.

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