In a proactive effort to address the expanding Smith River Complex wildfires in northern California, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Southwest Oregon District and the U.S. Forest Service Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest (RRSNF) are working closely together.
While the closest fire is currently about a mile away from the border, officials are preparing for any potential cross-state impacts. The Smith River Complex fires are steadily growing, with the possibility of affecting RRSNF within the next 24-48 hours.
Yesterday afternoon, California Team 15 took over command of the complex to oversee firefighting efforts. Both ODF and RRSNF are taking proactive measures to safeguard communities and natural resources. This morning, RRSNF has taken steps to bolster resources, including the deployment of two Hotshot crews, 10 fire engines, and additional overhead personnel. These teams are focusing on identifying opportunities to protect life and property. A Type 2 Team has been positioned in anticipation of potential firefighting needs.
ODF is conducting an assessment of prior fire containment lines and the historical fire behavior in the region, as they anticipate the fires may move northward. The collaboration between the two agencies will remain intact as the situation evolves.
As a precautionary measure, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management have issued a Level 1 – BE READY alert for the O’Brien community and areas along Highway 199 south of Rough & Ready Creek to the California Border.
Detailed evacuation information is also accessible on http://www.rvem.org, ensuring that residents have the necessary resources to stay safe.
You can track this fire through our 2023 Wildfire Season partner’s Wildfire Aware app.