TRAIL, Ore. — With thunderstorms failing to appear over Wednesday night near the borders of Jackson and Douglas counties, fire officials working on the Miles, Columbus and Snowshow fires say that their crews were able to focus on making significant inroads.
Firefighters continued their focused efforts and gained the upper hand in several areas of these fires. In addition, the Fire Weather Watch that had been in place for Thursday was removed, even though a slight chance of an isolated thunderstorms remains to the east of the fire—toward Klamath and Lake counties.
Also aiding fire crews is the lingering smoke from these and other fires throughout Southern Oregon, providing shade and reducing fire behavior. Fire managers remain cautiously optimistic as suppression objectives are succeeding as planned.
Firefighters are sticking to objectives set early in the suppression effort by minimizing acres burned while providing for public and firefighter safety and protecting all values at risk. Crews remain primed and ready should new fire starts occur in the area, providing initial attack as needed.
By Thursday, the Snowshoe Fire was considered at full containment and fire officials announced large leaps in progress made on the other two major fires.
On the Miles Fire, control lines were strengthened as crews continued to douse hotspots from the perimeter deeper into the fire’s interior. With established control lines in place, crews were working to keep the fire south of Forest Service Road 1610 on the fire’s northwest corner.
When appropriate, fire officials say that "burnout" operations will continue on the northeast corner of the fire, utilizing Forest Service Road 6640 as a secure and improved containment line to work from. Fallers will continue removing hazard trees, or snags, known for spewing fire brands over containment lines that increase the potential of spot fires.
Miles Fire - 32,519 acres, 25 percent contained (Just north of Lost Creek Lake, roughly between Trail and Prospect)
Columbus Fire - 9,762 acres, 22 percent contained (Due north of the Miles Fire in the Umpqua National Forest)
Snowshoe Fire - 3,816 acres, 100 percent contained (Due north of Trail, largely contained)
Evacuee Assistance: Evacuees seeking assistance may contact the American Red Cross at (888) 680-1455. The shelter is currently on standby at Eagle Point High School.