Lightning sparks wildfire near Tiller, multiple smaller fires

Thunderstorms that rolled in Tuesday afternoon sparked several remote wildfires in the forests of Douglas County, including one a few miles from Tiller.

Posted: Jun 27, 2019 10:22 AM
Updated: Jun 27, 2019 10:33 AM

TILLER, Ore. — Thunderstorms that rolled through Southern Oregon on Tuesday afternoon subjected forest lands to a flurry of lightning strikes — including several that sparked wildfires in the remote forests of Douglas County.

According to the Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA), detection flights had spotted seven different fires across the county by Wednesday evening.

The largest of those fires is called the Days Coffee Fire, located about six miles northwest of Tiller along the border between Jackson and Douglas counties. The Days Coffee Fire is now estimated at 140 acres in size.

"Strong, gusty winds combined with steep slopes and limited access challenged firefighters most of the night as active fire behavior and multiple spot fires were being reported," DFPA said.

The agency said that all known spot fires had been lined overnight with the exception of one estimated 5-acre fire, located about a half-mile southeast of the main fire.

"Similar weather conditions are forecasted for today with a chance of thunderstorms throughout the area. If thunderstorms do develop, strong winds and downdrafts could challenge firefighters throughout the day," DFPA said.

There are now 110 firefighters working on the Days Coffee Fire, along with one fire engine, two tenders, one dozer, and two helicopters. The agency said that it has requested additional resources.

DFPA said that flights had identified the following additional fires:

  • Sevenmile Hill Fire - 13 miles east of Rice Hill, 1/10 acre
  • Sand Creek Fire - 4 miles northeast of Drain, 1/10 acre
  • Big Tom Folley Fire - 5 miles northeast of Elkton, 1/100 acre
  • Riser Butte Fire - 12 miles northeast of Myrtle Creek, 1/10 acre
  • Tater Tie Fire - 0 miles north of Tiller. 1/100th acre
  • High Point Fire - 5 miles northwest of Glide, 1/10 acre

As of Wednesday evening, DFPA sent pictures of firefighting efforts on the Sevenmile Hill Fire [gallery above] that showed firefighters making rapid progress.

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