Firefighters responding to lightning strikes in Siskiyou and Jackson counties

There are reports of lightning fire starts in the Klamath National Forest and in the Applegate Valley.

Posted: Jul 29, 2021 6:42 PM
Updated: Jul 29, 2021 8:37 PM

UPDATE: (8:30 PM) -- The Oregon Department of Forestry is monitoring five small fires on their protected land and an additional two on U.S. Forest Service Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forestland. The fires are due to a lightning storm that went through earlier this evening. The largest fire is a quarter of an acre with all others ranging between 1/10th to 1/100th of an acre. Fire crews are either still on scene or have already knocked down these fires. Firefighters will remain on duty to respond to any additional fires. ODF was assisted by Applegate Valley Fire District and Rural Metro Fire - Josephine County.

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JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — With thunderstorms moving through parts of Siskiyou and Jackson counties, firefighters are responding to reports of lightning strikes within the Klamath National Forest and in the Applegate Valley.

Shortly before 6:30 p.m., the U.S. Forest Service for the Klamath National Forest reported multiple lightning-caused fires across the Salmon-Scott River Ranger District. Three fires have been confirmed; the Post, Muse, and Campbell fires.

"Scattered precipitation has been received with the storms," USFS said.

USFS said that crews are on the scene of the Post Fire, which is near Scott Bar and is estimated at 1-2 acres with a moderate rate of spread. Crews are working to construct fire line with the support of a heavy helicopter.

The Campbell Fire is only about .2 acres and is burning in the Marble Mountain Wilderness near Campbell Lake. Smokejumpers have been sent out to the fire due to its remote location.

The Rush Fire is believed to be a single tree burning in the Trinity Alps Wilderness near Rush Creek. Smokejumpers are also being used on this fire.

The Oregon Department of Forestry said that the thunderstorm was making its way north through the Applegate Valley, and the agency was sending engines to respond as mutual aid for a fire in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest as well as patrolling for additional starts.

"Our Detection Center specialists are monitoring the affected areas and searching for new smoke," ODF said.

The Applegate Valley Fire District posted briefly to say that its crews were busy responding to emergency calls and would not be able to answer phones or post updates for a while.

This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.

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