Firefighters in South Central Oregon respond to multiple fires today, prepare for lightning
LAKEVIEW, Ore. – Wildland firefighters for the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) responded to wildfires today and prepared for lightning storms.
The Pool Fire, located on Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands east of Agency Lake, south of Chiloquin was reported around 2:30 p.m. It is 22 acres and under investigation. Firefighters have made great progress on the fire, stopping forward progression. They have been able to release some firefighting resources this evening.
All evacuation levels in the area were lifted this evening and the only remaining road closure is Witam Bluff Drive, southwest of the junction with Metate Lane.
There will continue to be increased firefighter traffic in the area. Drivers are asked to use caution. Smoke from the fire may continue to be visible as firefighters work to get full control of the fire.
“Today was another prime example of how fast and furious these fires can spread,” said Randall Baley, Protection Unit Forester for ODF. “Similar to our recent Cutoff Fire, within minutes or even seconds this fire was challenging Initial Attack operations.”
Firefighters also responded to a small fire on ODF protected lands near Klamath Marsh. The fire was one tenth of an acre and the cause is under investigation.
This evening firefighting resources are checking a smoke report on Green Mountain on Lakeview District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands.
Meanwhile, fire managers have been preparing for predicted abundant lightning on dry fuels. A Red Flag Warning remains in effect over the area through midnight Tuesday. Thunderstorms are predicted through Tuesday morning with gusty and variable winds.
This evening the SCOFMP area has received numerous lightning strikes, mostly east of U.S. Highway 97. Reports for the most part is there has been rain with the storms.
Fire resources will be monitoring for smoke from potential lightning fires over the coming days, especially as fuels dry out following the storms.
“SCOFMP has a tremendous network of dedicated and highly skilled wildland firefighters and resources that help us respond quickly and effectively to wildfires across boundaries, even as we manage larger incidents like the Cutoff Fire,” said Interagency Deputy Fire Management Officer Trent Wilkie.
This year has seen an early start to wildfire season in South Central Oregon and conditions continue to dry out this summer. The public is asked to use extreme caution with anything that can potentially spark a wildfire.
Regulated Use Restrictions are in effect on ODF protected lands and the fire danger level remains High. It is important to be aware of current fire restrictions. Visit http://www.scofmp.org to check the latest regulations.
Anyone going out into wildlands should be prepared with water, a shovel, fire extinguisher and axe. Campfires should never be left unattended and should be dead out and cold to the touch before leaving. If you suspect a wildfire, please report it to 911.