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ODF is reporting at least six current fires that they are responding to this evening after a number of storms rolled through the Applegate area which produced dozens of lightning strikes.
Here are the links to some of our live coverage of the fires:
At approximately 5:52p, a Significant Event Protocol was activated for Jackson County which brought in additional personnel and also centralized fire callouts.
Many of these fires are being reported near the Jackson / Josephine County border, as that area experienced very active storms. Due to the weather, air support was delayed but at least on Type II helicopter is working a fire near OR238 at this time.
ODF says the fires are estimated to be very small at this time, the majority being single trees that were struck and smoking. Arriving firefighters are engaging with an aggressive initial attack.
8p: ODF reports that none of these fires are currently threatening any homes. Crews are utilizing helicopters to do water bucket drops and currently have an air attack plane up surveying areas where lightning strikes have occurred and reporting fires from the air.
9:25p: ODF is currently responding to 27 fires across Jackson and Josephine counties, 7 in Jackson and 20 in Josephine. All fires are holding at small sizes, the largest being an estimated 3 acres in size on Tallowbox Mountain in the Applegate Valley. No homes are currently threatened.
ODF firefighters are engaging in aggressive initial attack strategies and officials are ordering additional engines, hand crews and water tenders to come in tonight. All days off for ODF staff have been canceled and the department will be fully staffed every day. Officials are also ordering numerous resources for tomorrow, including six 20-person crews, 10 additional engines, two water tenders, four tree fallers and additional aircraft.
Medford Alert will continue to monitor and provide updates as they become available.