Flat Fire Continues to Spread Rapidly, Threatening Nearby Communities

The Flat Fire, located approximately two miles southwest of Agness in Oak Flat, has rapidly expanded in size since it was reported around 6:00 p.m. yesterday. The current estimated size of the fire ranges between 2000 and 3000 acres. Fueled by high winds and challenging terrain, the fire has exhibited extreme behavior, with embers flying a quarter mile and fire spread on both sides of the Illinois River.

In response to this escalating situation, a considerable number of ground resources and a robust air response have been deployed to combat the fire. However, despite their efforts, containing the fire has proven difficult. Throughout the night, firefighting crews, including the Incident Commander (IC) and engines, tirelessly worked on the east flank of the fire to protect the community of Oak Flat.

To augment the ongoing firefighting operations, additional resources are scheduled to arrive throughout the day. A Type III Incident Commander will assume control of the fire this morning, while the NW Team 6 is enroute to provide support, with an inbrief scheduled for 4:00 p.m. today.

The battle against the Flat Fire will continue with an aggressive response from both air and ground resources. Extensive use of air resources is expected throughout the day, as weather conditions and challenging terrain pose significant obstacles. The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest remains fully committed to safeguarding the communities of Oak Flat and Agness, striving to limit the fire’s growth as much as possible.

Unfortunately, weather conditions are not favorable, and further rapid growth is anticipated in the coming days. Today, winds are expected to pick up in the afternoon and early evening, mirroring the conditions that have contributed to the fire’s swift expansion. In light of these circumstances, the public is urged to exercise caution and adhere to all fire restrictions in place.

Medford Alert will continue to monitor this new wildfire and provide updates as they become available. You can track this fire through our 2023 Wildfire Season partner’s Wildfire Aware app.

Source: USFS

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