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Multiple lightning-caused fires spark in the Applegate Valley

Multiple lightning-caused fires have sparked in the Applegate Valley near Applegate road. ODF says crews are on the scene.

Posted: Aug 4, 2019 6:59 PM
Updated: Aug 5, 2019 4:45 PM

APPLEGATE VALLEY, Ore. --

UPDATE: Crews were mopping up on Monday morning following an intense initial attack on the two lightning-caused fires of the Little Applegate Complex on Sunday night. The Little Applegate Fire was contained at 13 acres, while the Yale West Fire was contained at just under an acre.

"Lightning struck in the Applegate Valley at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, sparking the first lightning-caused fires of the 2019 Fire Season," the Oregon Department of Forestry said. "With the potential for thunderstorms in the forecast throughout this week, firefighters are prepared to respond to additional starts related to lightning strikes."

Resources remained on the scene throughout Monday, watching for any potential flare-ups.

The Fire Danger Level in Jackson and Josephine counties has increased to "Extreme" (Red).

(Updated 8/5/19 at 4:45 p.m.)


UPDATE: Fire crews and aircraft are currently engaged on two lightning-caused fires that make up the Little Applegate Complex off of Little Applegate road.

The Little Applegate Fire is estimated to be eight acres. An Airtanker is making retardant drops, and multiple helicopters are dropping water. Fire crews are on the ground and working to protect homes in the area.

According to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office - Oregon (JCSO) and the Rogue Valley Fire Chief’s Association, one house has been evacuated, and another three are under a LEVEL ONE evacuation notice. All residents have been notified. Additionally, Little Applegate road is closed at the intersection of Buncom road.

The Yale West Fire, located across Little Applegate road, is estimated to be one acre and wet lined at this time. Crews will continue to work toward hand line and containment.

ODF is joined by our partner agencies Applegate Valley Fire District, BLM Oregon & Washington, and JCSO on this fire; we are grateful for their support.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

(Updated August 4, 2019 8:27 p.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: Multiple lightning-caused fires have sparked in the Applegate Valley near Little Applegate Road. The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) said crews are on the scene.

Lightning started around 5:15 p.m. and fires started shortly after. ODF confirmed there is at least 3 fires at this time, but there might be more. They plan to monitor that area throughout the night for fires that could start at a later time from the lightning. 

At first, two fires were estimated to be half an acre in size. Now one is estimated to be about seven acres. A spot fire is also burning in the area. These fires and any more that may spark will be managed under the Applegate Complex.

Seven engines, two crews, two water tenders, and six aircraft are responding.

No evacuations or road closures have been made.

NewsWatch 12 is headed to the scene. We'll have updates tonight on NewsWatch 12 at 11.

(Updated August 4th, 2019 7:00 p.m.)

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