LAKEVIEW, Ore. — Fire crews responding to a lightning-caused wildfire that started in the Fremont-Winema National Forest over the weekend are using the incident as an opportunity to clear out the proverbial cobwebs, according to a statement from the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP).
"When safe to do so, fire personnel will look for opportunities on naturally occurring wildfires to improve habitat and restore ecological balance to our wildlands," the organization said.
Dubbed the Silver Creek Fire, forestry crews discovered it on Sunday, burning about one mile south of Thompson Reservoir. Cews conducted firing overnight to strategically mark off the area that will be allowed to burn. The fire itself covers an estimate 95 acres.
"Attached is a picture that was taken by a drone earlier last evening, showing the consumption of the surface fuels and reduction of the ladder fuels in the area. This fuel reduction will help improve the wildlife habit in the area and help to maintain the overall health of the forest," SCOFMP said.
Fire crews will stay in the area to patrol and mop up the perimeter as the fire consumes the remaining fuels. The agency said that smoke will probably stay visible over the next several days, particularly from nearby recreation sities at Thompson Reservoir and East Bay Campground.
"Over the past few days South Central Oregon received a small number of lightning strikes spreading across Klamath and Lake Counties," SCOFMP said. "It is expected that over the next few days we will continue to discover additional fires as the fuels dry out."
Residents and visitors in the area can report suspected wildfires by calling the Lakeview Interagency Fire Center at 541-947-6315.
Visitors are asked to be careful with fire and anything that can throw a spark.
"Campfires should never be left unattended and should be dead out before leaving. This means drowned with water, stirred and be cold to the touch with no warm spots," the agency said.