Firefighters were able to make great progress overnight on the Panther Gulch Fire, lining nearly the entire fire in the first shift. This morning, it’s estimated to be 50 acres, however gps mapping today is expected to give a better picture of the size of the fire. The primary goal today is to hold the lines that were built overnight, and continue forward progress toward further containment with a focus on firefighter safety.
Crews were first alerted to the Panther Gulch Fire just before 6 pm on Tuesday evening; it was reported as a grassfire with a large plume of smoke above Panther Gulch road. ODF crews, along with Applegate Valley Fire and Williams Fire Rescue responded, however aircraft were first to reach the scene. Four helicopters, five SEATs, two LATs, and an air attack plane were engaged until the sun set. Air crews initially reported the fire to be seven acres. When firefighters arrived on scene, it was determined to be closer to 25. Four dozers and four 20-person hand crews also engaged in the fight, and worked through the evening. Steep terrain and snags in the area have been added challenges to fire crews, and the potential for rolling logs has posed a risk as well.
Our air attack will resume today with four helicopters, one fixed wing aircraft, one air attack plane and five SEATs. Four crews, six engines, two water tenders, and two dozers have taken over the line this morning, and will remain on scene today. With light wind and temperatures mirroring yesterday’s forecast, conditions will be favorable for firefighters on the line.
No evacuations or road closures are in place at this time. The cause of this fire remains under investigation.