Multiple new fire starts have been discovered following a thunderstorm that passed over the Rogue Valley early Thursday morning. In Jackson County, crews have been dispatched to 27 reports of lightning-caused fires, and 19 in Josephine County. Of the 46 total, 26 are extinguished, and crews are responding to three and actively mopping up six. The additional reports of fire were either unable to be located, or on lands not protected by the Southwest Oregon District; in these cases, crews worked on the fire until the appropriate agency arrived on scene to take over.
While this storm produced numerous fire starts, crews were able to catch them all quickly, resulting in approximately 25 acres burned across both counties.
On Friday, crews will remain engaged on the few active fires, with a focus on the largest, the Bunker Creek Fire in northwest Josephine County, at an estimated 20 acres.
While temperatures are predicted to be cooler in the next few days, fires originally sparked by lightning may ignite and flare up in the coming days and weeks. Reconnaissance flights will be conducted every day until crews fly three consistent days free of reports of smoke or fires.
The public can also play a role in helping keep our area fire-free; Any smoke seen around the valley should be reported to an ODF office or 911 in an emergency. Updates are available on our Facebook page: @ODFSouthwest.