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Significant Progress Made on Round Top, Buck Rock Fires, Mop-Up Operations Continue

  • AUGUST 6, 2021
  • ODF SOUTHWEST OREGON

JACKSON & JOSEPHINE COUNTIES, Ore. (August 6, 2021) – Significant progress continues to be made on the Round Top and Buck Rock Fires, the only active incidents left on the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Southwest Oregon District following thunderstorms last weekend. ODF Southwest firefighters responded to more than 65 fires in a five-day period. Following aggressive initial attacks and coverage on incidents around the clock, nearly all fires have been extinguished, the largest reaching only 23 acres.

On the Round Top Fire, located 10 miles northwest of Shady Cove, firefighters have mopped up 150-feet into the interior of the fire from its perimeter; it remains 23 acres in size. On the Buck Rock Fire, located 5 miles north of Trail, crews have mopped up past the 200-foot mark into the interior. It is also still holding at 17 acres. As progress remains steady and fire lines are holding strong, this will be the final update on these fires unless conditions significantly change.

The Rogue Valley experienced clean air on Friday; multiple fires in Douglas County and Northern California have been causing smoke to settle across Jackson and Josephine counties. Through the weekend, smoke may settle once again throughout the region. Smoke-related information and forecasts are available on https://fire.airnow.gov/ and https://airquality.weather.gov/sectors/pacnorthwest.php.

Information on the fires burning in Douglas County on Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) protected land and the Umpqua National Forest can be found on https://www.facebook.com/skylineridgecomplex/https://www.facebook.com/2021-Devils-Knob-Complex-112079071131008https://www.facebook.com/DouglasForestProtectiveAssociation and https://www.facebook.com/UmpquaNationalForest.

Additional information about fire season is also available online on our website, www.swofire.com,  our Facebook page, @ODFSouthwest and our Twitter account, @swofire.

 

July 25, 2021
Or​​egon Department of Forestry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest Oregon District 5286 Table Rock Rd. Central Point, OR 97502
Media Contact: Natalie Weber, Public Information Officer
(541) 621-4005, natalie.r.weber@oregon.gov

Despite Limited Resources Overnight, Redwood Highway Fire 45% Contained

SELMA, Ore. (July 25, 2021) – Firefighters working the Redwood Highway Fire overnight have made excellent progress despite limited resources overnight and hazard trees in the area; the fire is 100% lined and 45% contained. It’s located on Highway 199 milepost 23, approximately four miles south of Selma. Through GPS mapping, the fire and multiple spot fires have been confirmed to be 6 acres in size. Today, firefighters will continue falling hazardous trees and carry on with mop-up efforts. Safety is a focus, as many of these trees pose a risk to firefighters and traffic on Highway 199. Four Type 6 engines, a 20-person hand crew, two fallers and two overhead managers are assigned to the fire today; aircraft will be available as needed.
The Redwood Highway Fire was first reported just before 6:30 p.m. Saturday night as multiple fires along Highway 199. When firefighters began arriving on scene, they encountered two small fires at milepost 17 and 18 respectively; both fires were relatively small in size and were quickly extinguished. At milepost 23, another fire was quickly growing. Resources from ODF Southwest Oregon District, Illinois Valley Fire District, Rural Metro Fire, Grants Pass Fire District, Applegate Valley Fire District #9, and Rogue River Fire District #1 all responded and began an aggressive initial attack. Rogue Valley Wildland Task Force 2 was also requested. Air
News Release
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
resources including two large air tankers (LAT’s), two single engine air tankers (SEAT’s), a Type
1, Type 2, and Type 3 (ODF Helitack) helicopters, and an air attack platform were ordered and
supplied water bucket and retardant drops, helping to stop the forward spread of the fire.
Between aircraft and crews on the ground, a perimeter was established within the first four
hours of the incident.
Firefighting activity prompted the closure of Highway 199 on Saturday night, however, it
has since been reopened. A level 1 (BE READY) evacuation notice was put in place by Josephine
County Emergency Management for Wild Park Lane and Terrell Way as a precaution; it has
since been lifted.
For fire updates, visit our website, www.swofire.com or our Facebook page @ODF
Southwest Oregon District.

 

 

 

Fire Danger Level Increases to Extreme on ODF-Protected Lands on Wednesday July 14th , 2021

JULY 12, 2021

  • ODF SOUTHWEST OREGON

JACKSON & JOSEPHINE COUNTIES, Ore. (July 12, 2021) – The fire danger level on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in Jackson and Josephine counties rises to “extreme” (red) at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. This affects 1.8 million acres of state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management lands within ODF’s Southwest Oregon District. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will remain at Level 2 (two).

The primary difference between current fire prevention restrictions and those beginning on Wednesday affects the public use of power-driven equipment, such as chain saws and mowers. The use of power-driven equipment, grinding, cutting of metal, and other spark-emitting equipment, such as wood splitters and generators, will be prohibited.

Here are the details of the adjusted fire restrictions taking effect on July 14:

  • The use of power saws is prohibited.
  • The cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited.
  • The mowing of dry or dead grass is prohibited.
  • The operation of any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine not specifically mentioned above is prohibited.

The following fire prevention regulations are currently in effect and will remain in effect until the fire danger level drops significantly:

  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and designated locations.
  • Debris burning is prohibited.
  • Burn barrel use is prohibited.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in approved fire rings at designated campgrounds. In other locations, portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
  • Motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, may only be used on improved roads free of flammable vegetation, except when used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  • Fireworks on or within 1/8th of a mile of forestland are prohibited.
  • Any electric fence controller in use shall be listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and operated in compliance with the manufacturer’s fire-safe instructions.
  • The use of exploding targets is prohibited.
  • The use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited.
  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season restrictions, visit our website, www.swofire.com or our Facebook page @ODF Southwest Oregon District.

 

Fire Danger Level Increases to High, IFPL 2 on ODF-Protected Lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties

  • JUNE 25, 2021
  • ODF SOUTHWEST OREGON

 

JACKSON & JOSEPHINE COUNTIES, Ore. (June 25, 2021) – The fire danger level on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District will increase to “high” (yellow) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will increase to Level 2 (two) on Monday, June 28, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. This affects 1.8 million acres of state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

The primary difference between current fire prevention restrictions and those beginning on Monday affects the public use of power-driven equipment, such as chain saws and mowers. The use of power-driven equipment, grinding, cutting of metal, and other spark-emitting equipment, such as wood splitters and generators, will be prohibited between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Other fire prevention regulations which will remain in effect, include:

  • No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels
  • No fireworks on or within 1/8th of a mile of forestlands
  • Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited
  • Campfires are allowed only in designated campgrounds. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used in other locations
  • Motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain, are allowed only on improved roads; one shovel and one gallon of water, or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher, is required while traveling
  • Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations
  • Chain saws may not be used between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. During hours outside of this time frame, chain saws may be used but require that the operator have one shovel and one 8-oz or larger fire extinguisher at the work site. A fire watch is also required for one hour after each chainsaw use
  • Cutting, grinding, and welding of metal is not allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. These activities will be allowed during hours outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site
  • The mowing of dead or dried grass with power-driven equipment is not allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops
  • Any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine-use not specifically mentioned is not allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. Use of any spark-emitting internal combustion engine is allowed outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site
  • Any electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and be installed and used in compliance with the fence controller’s instructions for fire safe operation

Under IFPL II (Two) – limited shutdown, which is entirely separate from all public fire restrictions, the following may operate after 8 p.m. and up until 1 p.m. daily:

  • Power saws, except at loading sites
  • Feller-bunchers with rotary head saws
  • Cable yarding
  • Blasting
  • Welding, cutting, or grinding of metal

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season public restrictions, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:

  • Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328
  • Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152

Fire season information is also available online at our Facebook page, @ODFSouthwest.

 

Despite Hot Temperatures and Windy Conditions, North River Road Fire 50% Contained

  • JUNE 20, 2021
  • ODF SOUTHWEST OREGON

 

GOLD HILL, Ore. (June 20, 2021) – Mop-up work on the North River Road Fire, located along the 4300-block of North River Road between Gold Hill and Rogue River, is progressing quickly; crews were able to contain 50% of the fire during dayshift operations. Hot temperatures and windy conditions caused multiple flare-up’s in the perimeter of the fire, however, helicopters assigned to the incident were able to effectively extinguish them, and the lines are holding strong. The fire is 60 acres burning on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands.

Two 20-person hand crews will be tasked with continuing the mop-up efforts overnight, along with one type-6 engine. Significant progress is expected with lower evening temperatures and higher relative humidity.

Jackson County Emergency Management and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office issued a level 1 (BE READY) evacuation notice for the 1000-3000 blocks of Wards Creek Road in Rogue River and the surrounding area of the North River Road Fire. That evacuation notice remains in effect. North River Road is now open, however, the public is advised to used alternate routes if possible for the safety of firefighters working in the area. The BLM Mountain of the Rogue biking trails remain closed to the public for safety concerns and wildfire operations along the trails.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. ODF would like to thank our partner agencies who have provided resources on this fire, including Rogue River Fire District #1, Jackson County Fire District 3, Grants Pass Fire Rescue, Rural Metro Fire, Evans Valley Fire District #6, Medford Fire-Rescue, U.S. Forest Service Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Jackson County Roads Department.

Fire updates are available on Facebook, @ODFSouthwest.

 

Due to High Temperatures and Dry Fuels, Fire Danger Level Increasing to Moderate on Friday

JUNE 2, 2021

ODF SOUTHWEST OREGON

 

JACKSON & JOSEPHINE COUNTIES, Ore. (June 2, 2021) – The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties will increase to “moderate” (blue) on Friday, June 4, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. Please be aware that this level change means that additional fire restrictions for the public will be in effect. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at Level I (one).

These regulations impact 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.

Public fire restrictions currently in effect, which will remain in effect, include:

  • No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels.
  • No fireworks on or within 1/8 of a mile of forestland.
  • Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited.
  • Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations.
  • Any electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and be installed and used in compliance with the fence controller’s instructions for fire safe operation.

Beginning Friday at 12:01 a.m., the following public fire restrictions will take effect:

  • Open fires are prohibited, which includes campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at locations deemed a designated campground. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are still allowed;
  • Chainsaws may not be used between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during moderate fire danger. During hours outside of this time frame, chain saws may be used but require that the operator have one shovel and one 8-oz or larger fire extinguisher at the work site. A fire watch is also required for one hour after each chainsaw use;
  • Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is not allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during moderate fire danger. These activities will be allowed during hours outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site;
  • The mowing of dead or dried grass with power-driven equipment is not allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during moderate fire danger. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;
  • Motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, will be allowed only on improved roads free of flammable vegetation. One shovel and one gallon of water, or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher, is required while traveling.
  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher. As noted above, all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.
  • Any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine use not specifically mentioned is not allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during moderate fire danger. Use of any spark-emitting internal combustion engine is allowed outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site;

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District’s fire season public restrictions, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:

  • Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328
  • Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152

Fire season information is also available online at our Facebook page: @ODFSouthwest.

WILDFIRE UPDATE

Excellent Progress Made on East Antelope Fire, As Crews Push Overnight to Reach 90% Containment

  • MAY 31, 2021
  • ODF SOUTHWEST OREGON

WHITE CITY, Ore. (May 31, 2021) – The East Antelope Fire, located on the 9600-block of East Antelope Road outside of White City, remains 100% lined and is now 90% mopped up. Firefighters were able to make this tremendous amount of progress during Sunday’s day shift and through the night; operations today will focus on reaching near, if not compete containment. It remains 49 acres in size, and is on private and BLM land.

An infrared drone flight was conducted Sunday evening, revealing multiple hotspots within the fire perimeter. Overnight, fire crews worked to extinguish those areas. Additional gridding will take place today, allowing firefighters to canvas the entire footprint of the fire for potential areas of concern. This evening, crews will remain on scene and do an additional infrared scan. This technology is extremely important to finalizing operations, as it detects heat in specific areas, even when indicators like smoke or embers aren’t immediately visible.

The E. Antelope Fire was initially reported on Saturday around 2:45 p.m. The road was closed to traffic with the exception of fire resources and residents; these closures have since been lifted. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Jackson County Emergency Management issued level two (Be Set) evacuations orders for the immediate area; they have since been downgraded to level 1 (Be Ready). Additional evacuation information is available through the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Jackson County Emergency Management.

ODF Southwest Oregon District would like to thank our partner agencies who have helped on the fire lines, including the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Jackson County Fire District 3 and Lake Creek Fire. We would also like to thank the veterans who have spent their Memorial Day weekend with us, once again protecting our community; your efforts on the fire and in your military service are much appreciated.

The cause of this fire remains under investigation. Additional information relating to the cause will be released when it is safe to do so without hampering the investigation.

Fire information for Jackson and Josephine counties is always available on Facebook, @ODFSouthwest.

 

Fire Season and Regulated Use Closures Go Into Effect May 12, 2021 on the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District

 

CENTRAL POINT, Ore.  – Fire Season on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Southwest Oregon District begins Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. The fire danger level will be “Low” (green) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be I (one). Lands affected by this declaration include 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Since the beginning of March, the district has responded to more than 50 fires, totaling more than 100 acres; warm temperatures, windy conditions and a lack of spring rain are among the contributing factors that increased fire starts and growth. Fuels across the region are also much drier than normal, reflecting late June-like conditions in mid-May. For these reasons, fire season is being declared in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Beginning Wednesday, the burning of debris piles and the use of burn barrels for burning debris will no longer be allowed in Jackson and Josephine counties. Over the past couple of weeks, our crews have responded to multiple debris burns that have escaped; landowners are encouraged to check their previously burned piles from this spring and confirm that they have been extinguished.

In low fire danger, the following activities are prohibited:

  • No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels.
  • No fireworks on or within 1/8 of a mile of forestland.
  • Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited.
  • Campfires are allowed in designated campgrounds, and on private land with the landowner’s permission. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used as well.
  • Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations.
  • Any electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and be installed and used in compliance with the fence controller’s instructions for fire safe operation.

Under IFPL I (one) – fire season requirements are in effect. In addition to the following:

  • A Firewatch is required at this and all higher levels unless otherwise waived.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Fire Season regulations, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:

  • Medford Unit, 5286 Table   Rock Rd., Central Point – (541) 664-3328
  • Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass – (541) 474-3152

Additional information about fire season is also available online on our website, www.swofire.com,  our Facebook page, @ODFSouthwest and our Twitter account, @swofire

 

 

Volunteer of the Month - May 2021 -  James

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Congratulations James!  Nice Work!

Volunteer of the Month - April 2021 -  Bryce

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Congratulations Bryce!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A thank you to a pioneer of the fire district...

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As we continue to grow and change to fit the needs of our community. It's essential to acknowledge those who paved the way, and laid a solid foundation for us. So we extend our thanks to a guy who we know as "Bob the Webmaster."  In the early 2000s he took on the challenge of propelling us into the digital age by spending countless hours writing html code to produce the previous generation website that stood for 15-20 years as our digital information center. He is also largely responsible for the great photos that adorned it. At all hours of the day and night he would rise to a pager like the responders, show up to trainings, meetings, and hunt down the elusive members who were camera shy, and make sure these moments were captured so their stories could be told. 

Bob, you’ve made an immeasurable impact connecting the fire district and the community we cannot give enough thanks for your efforts over the last 20 years!