Worthington Fire caused by lightning strike, fire officials say

(Photo courtesy Pat Scupien)

The Worthington Fire northeast of Eagle Point has not dramatically increased in size since the end of last week, thanks to the aggressive efforts of fire crews.

Posted: Aug 6, 2020 2:35 PM
Updated: Aug 6, 2020 3:59 PM

EAGLE POINT, Ore. — Investigators have determined that a fast-growing wildfire sparked between Eagle Point and Butte Falls last week was caused by a lightning strike, according to the latest update from fire officials.

Crews responded to the fire roughly five miles to the northeast of Eagle Point on the afternoon of July 30, later prompting evacuation orders for one nearby road. The approximate location is at the end of Worthington Road, among wooded hills between Eagle Point and Butte Falls. ODF described the area as forest and brush — partly on BLM land and on private property protected by ODF.

While Siskiyou, Klamath, and Lake counties have been hardest-hit by thunderstorms over the past several weeks, StormWatch 12 Chief Meteorologist Matt Hoffman confirmed that this area of Jackson County did see lightning strikes on Monday, July 27 — likely resulting in a small smoldering fire that exploded in size on Thursday with high temperatures and strong winds.

Fire managers said on Thursday that the Worthington Fire is now being held at 761 acres, with containment up to 80 percent. 

"Fire crews are working on mop-up to improve and strengthen the fire line, expanding and clearing the fire perimeter to 150’ deep," officials said. "Safety of the public and wildland firefighters is the number one priority, so crews continue to remove hazardous fire-weakened trees in transportation corridors."

BLM issued a statement last Friday afternoon, crediting the swift response with keeping the Worthington Fire from spreading overnight.

"The initial and extended attack teams have been extraordinary in the aggressive efforts to contain this fire," the agency said.

All evacuations on the fire have been downgraded to a level 1 “Be Ready” status.

The Incident Command Post for the Worthington Fire is located at Eagle Point Middle School. The team has requested that the public avoid the post to protect firefighter and community health.

"The response to this fire is a coordinated effort of county, state, and federal partners, with most of the fire fighters being locals from the Rogue Valley," fire officials said. "As the activity on this fire continues to decline, resources from the Worthington Fire are available to support other fires in the area."

As of Wednesday, there were 345 personnel, 13 hand crews, three dozers, eight water tenders, two helicopters, and 10 fire engines on the scene.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 359733

Reported Deaths: 4295
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah56103709
Washington39002324
Marion37013454
Clackamas29983309
Lane27945302
Jackson23165310
Deschutes20559125
Umatilla14521150
Linn13048131
Douglas12196250
Josephine9430197
Yamhill8752113
Klamath8081119
Polk740581
Malheur565278
Benton555331
Coos507894
Columbia386044
Jefferson379553
Lincoln324239
Union321149
Crook293946
Wasco291141
Clatsop244728
Baker204129
Tillamook197932
Hood River194737
Morrow185723
Curry181325
Harney114427
Grant100213
Lake94812
Wallowa69312
Gilliam1564
Sherman1523
Wheeler1101
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4855616

Reported Deaths: 71443
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148576926552
Riverside3716705041
San Diego3682674196
San Bernardino3586775720
Orange3251235578
Sacramento1596362313
Kern1472941652
Fresno1463182094
Santa Clara1455431897
Alameda1206921415
San Joaquin1027761721
Ventura1010381167
Contra Costa1000181008
Stanislaus867381338
Tulare80375978
San Francisco54440649
San Mateo54168623
Monterey50911586
Solano46063341
Santa Barbara45223523
Merced42422581
Sonoma40997404
Placer39435429
Imperial36071766
Kings32938325
San Luis Obispo29973333
Madera23955285
Shasta23924354
Butte23818273
Santa Cruz21034221
Yolo20397248
Marin17706244
El Dorado17207149
Sutter13937175
Napa12898100
Yuba1011582
Tehama9534110
Humboldt9269109
Nevada916790
Mendocino766788
Lassen761848
San Benito744974
Tuolumne691790
Lake6631105
Amador547364
Siskiyou451246
Glenn438433
Calaveras391481
Del Norte358742
Colusa307618
Inyo214241
Mono16723
Plumas16607
Mariposa137017
Trinity88011
Modoc6895
Sierra1880
Unassigned1460
Alpine1050
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 48°
Brookings
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 51°
Crater Lake
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 48°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 48°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 34°
Damp and breezy Tuesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events