SHADY COVE, Ore. — Fire crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry have narrowed the fight against dozens of lightning-sparked fires throughout Jackson and Josephine counties down to just two within the space of a few days.
Out of 66 confirmed fires, ODF is now contending with just the two largest. The Round Top Fire, located about 10 miles northwest of Shady Cove, is estimated at 23 acres and is fully lined. The Buck Rock Fire, roughly 5 miles north of Trail, is fully lined at 17 acres.
Crews are still working on full containment for the two fires. ODF said that Round Top is fully plumbed, which means that hose lines have been secured around the fire so crews have easy access to water. Progress on containment is expected to begin Wednesday as crews work to hold line and begin mop-up, depending on the conditions.
The Buck Rock Fire went from 10 percent to 80 percent contained overnight, and ODF said that mop-up will continue throughout Wednesday.
Though progress has been good in southwest Oregon, ODF has been assisting their neighboring agencies to the north. The Douglas Forest Protective Association and Umpqua National Forest are fighting the Skyline Ridge Complex fires in the Railroad Gap area.
ODF said that it will continue to do reconnaissance flights to check on fires that are considered extinguished, in addition to looking for potential holdovers that could flare up in windy conditions. Eastern Jackson County is under a Red Flag Warning for Wednesday afternoon and evening, meaning conditions will be ripe for the rapid and easy spread of fire.
The agency reiterated that most of the smoke choking the air over southern Oregon is coming from northern California, where fires started by the same series of thunderstorms have grown to thousands of acres in some cases.