Crews battle four fires in Douglas County

Four fires broke out within an hour in Douglas County on Thursday afternoon, stretching wildland fire crews thin across the county.

Posted: May 9, 2019 10:41 PM
Updated: May 10, 2019 10:02 AM

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- Things are starting to heat up in Douglas County after four fires broke out across the area.

Officials with the Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) said these fires all started within about an hour of each other. The largest of those four fires is the Tiller Trail Highway fire which officials said has burned around 30 acres.

Wildland fire crews have made progress on that fire and the Union Gap fire between Sutherlin and Oakland. Crews were able to get a line around the fire near Union Gap which has burned an estimated 15 acres.

Kyle Reed with the DFPA said fires so far this year have mostly happened in areas with dried ground fuels.

"Where we're seeing the live fuel moisture and the green grass and stuff like that, fires aren't getting up and moving on us yet," Reed said. "It's in those areas that have the dead fuel and dead fuel moisture, which isn't uncommon this time of year. We kind of expect that."

Reed said additional resources are being brought in for both the Tiller Trail and Union Gap fires, both of which may have been started by escaped burns. He said now that the sun has gone down and the fires are starting to die, he expects crews to be able to get a good handle on the fires.

The Kelly Court and Interstate 5 Milepost 80 fires were both small grass fires and were quickly put out.

Reed said now is the time for people to start preparing defensible spaces around their homes and be careful when they're out working and recreating in the woods.

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