Crews make progress on Medco B Fire

ODF hopes to get the Medco B Fire contained as fast as possible so firefighters can continue to prepare for the upcoming season. The cause of this fire is still under investigation.

Posted: May 6, 2019 5:40 PM
Updated: May 6, 2019 5:42 PM

NEAR BUTTE FALLS, Ore. -- The Medco B fire is 345 acres and is 90 percent contained. It's burning about 10 miles away from Butte Falls. No buildings are threatened. There are no evacuation orders and no roads are closed.

Nevertheless, ODF hopes to get this fire contained as fast as possible so firefighters can continue to prepare for the upcoming season. The cause of this fire is still under investigation.

Since fire season has not technically even started yet, firefighters said a fire this size happening so early is a bit concerning but want to remind everyone a fire can happen at any time.

"This one is a little bit of a surprise but the conditions were such that there was a threat out there," said ODF Forest officer Jacob Kurzyniec.

Right now, there are about 120 people working to improve the fire line and put out any fire within 50 feet of that line. About 20 of those people are from ODF. The rest are contracted crews. This is because ODF isn’t fully staffed at the moment but will be in the coming weeks.

Kurzyniec usually runs the engine out of Ashland but was working out of the ODF Central Point headquarters Monday because everyone is out at the Medco B fire. Monday crews were preparing for fire season by taking inventory and packing gear just in case another large fire starts.

ODF said there are fire seasons on record that have started in May. A few in the past have even started in April. Kurzyniec added each fire season is different but to have a large fire like the Medco b fire start this soon is concerning.

"Every fire season starts out a little more unique. This [large] one starting out…at the beginning is usually a bad sign for us. Last year was a relatively slower start but only time will tell," Kurzyniec said.

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