Despite numerous fires across Jackson and Josephine counties, ODF firefighters were able to hold the majority of containment lines on Thursday.
There are currently 56 total fires across the district following Wednesday night thunderstorms across the region, breaking down to eight in Jackson County, named as the Westside Complex, and 48 in Josephine County, called the Lightning Gulch Complex. These incidents vary in stages, from active operations to 100% lined and mopped up, affecting both private and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land.
Resources were able to hold the largest fire at an estimated 40 acres on Thursday. That incident, mistaken by nightshift crews as the Tallowbox Fire, is actually the Keeler Fire. The Tallowbox Fire, originally reported as an estimated 30 acres this morning, is actually an estimated five. These neighboring incidents are two of four fires located near Tallowbox Mountain in the Applegate Valley to the east of Thompson Creek Road. In the same area, the Ladybug Gulch Fire proved to be the most challenging of the day, requiring multiple retardant drops from ODF Large Air Taker (LAT) 104; it’s currently holding at an estimated 21 acres. The fourth fire in this location is the Tallowbox Cutoff Fire, estimated to be 1/10th of an acre, is 100% lined and 80% mopped up.
Weather conditions aided firefighters on the line, as temperatures remained cooler than expected and predicated thunderstorms did not materialize, prompting the US National Weather Service Medford to cancel a red flag warning. These milder conditions contributed to slightly decreased fire behavior, allowing resources to hold containment lines and complete mop- up operations on some incidents.
In Josephine County, the Hog Creek Fire, located north of Merlin, and the Rum Creek Fire, located near Rum Creek north of Galice, are both estimated to be 30 acres in size. The Granite Hill Fire is estimated to be 14 acres in size, located north of Grants Pass and east of Colonial Valley.
Due to the extremely busy nature of dispatching, fires, locations, estimated sizes and containment information is still being organized. This information will be released when it is accurately complied, however priorities have remained providing updates and relaying information to firefighters in the field and in the air on active incidents.
No homes are threatened, and no evacuation orders have been placed. Please be aware of any potential changes and follow Jackson County Emergency Management, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Josephine Co. Emergency Management and the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office for any evacuation information.