Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
Contact: Margueritte Hickman, Public Information Officer
Phone: (541) 690-8574
Overnight Lightning Pounds the Eastern Rogue Valley
Medford, Oregon 2 August 2022— A significant number of lightning strikes with rainfall varying from .01 inches to .30 inches occurred overnight, primarily on the eastern side of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest (RRSNF). This morning RRSNF firefighters are responding to a reported fire near Fish Lake. Three additional smokes have been reported in the Sky Lakes Wilderness. Rappellers and Smokejumpers have been ordered for these fires.
Initial attack firefighters and equipment are being shifted from other parts of the RRSNF to stage on the High Cascades Ranger District to provide quicker response to fires reported in this area. This concentrated lightning requires that firefighters constantly and repeatedly check the areas of known strikes by air and from the ground. Sometimes a week or more may lapse between ignition and detection of holdover lightning fires, especially when rain accompanies the lightning. The weather forecast continues to call for lightning through Tuesday night.
Aerial reconnaissance (recon) will be flown multiple times today to detect any new fires caused by lighting. Close coordination with fire partners is essential to maintain a safe airspace and to be more efficient in the surveillance. Aerial recon flights will look for and report new starts where they are flying regardless of the jurisdiction.
The Beartree Fire near National Falls north of Prospect was contained in the evening of 7/31. Firefighters continued mop up efforts today.
The Slide Fire is 100% contained at 1½ acres. The fire received some rain last night. Firefighters will continue mop up efforts today before hiking out tomorrow.
Firefighters are prepared to attack new fires on the Forest, and are also ready to support initial attack efforts with our firefighting partners.
Yesterday the Forest assigned a load of helicopter rappellers and a Type 1 (heavy) helicopter to the Clover Fire on the Fremont-Winema National Forest.
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest resources continue to be engaged on the Alex Fire, on the Klamath National Forest, 4 ½ miles south of the Oregon state line. RRSNF firefighters on this fire reported that cool, moist conditions allowed the installation of a handline around the majority of the fire. The 20 foot by 20 foot fire that spotted onto the RRSNF from the Alex Fire is 100% mopped up. This fire is being managed as a Division of the McKinney Fire. The Mckinney Fire map includes the current perimeter of the Alex Fire. At this time, the fires on the Klamath National Forest are not threatening Oregon communities.
The McKinney Fire remains uncontained on the Klamath National Forest in Northern California. Smoke from this fire is creating poor air quality in the Rogue Valley and beyond. More information on this fire may be found at https://bit.ly/3BxnC8y.
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) has been closed in areas impacted by the McKinney Fire. Hiking on the PCT is not possible from Etna Summit to the south of Mt. Ashland, a 110-mile segment. Hikers should also be aware that the Tolo Fire is impacting the PCT in Deschutes County as well. The Pacific Crest Trail Association provides links to trail closures here https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/closures/.
Even if you experienced rain at home or where you are recreating, fire danger is still high. The fuels will dry out quickly with the heat and wind. Continue to be vigilant in your fire safety efforts. We all need to prevent fires to protect our community!
Photo: Lightning Map August 2, 0800