TILLER, Ore. – It’s been a busy 24 hours for Douglas County firefighters as they continue to clean up a large fire that broke out near Tiller on Tuesday.
Fire officials said the fire is located about four miles north of the small Douglas County town. When firefighters got on the scene around 3 p.m. it was about 70 acres in size. However, they said it grew to 200 acres by 7 p.m.
Douglas Forest Protective Association fire specialist Kyle Reed said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. However, he said they are dealing with very dry and warm conditions right now, which could’ve played a part.
“A part of it is the live vegetation hasn’t quite hit green up yet,” he said. “A lot of that vegetation is no flowing sap and the life fuel moistures are really low.”
Reed said fire season normally starts in June, but it also depends on what the weather patterns look like. If we don’t get major rain any time soon, he said there is a good chance fire season could start earlier than expected.
“When you start seeing the fires that are burning several hundred acres, that starts raising some red flags,” he said.
Many Douglas County residents told KEZI 9 News that a fire as large as the Marshall’s Place Fire is extremely alarming, especially so early in the year.
“I’m always nervous about it,” said Sharon Brand. “And even more so now that it’s this early and we already have one.”
Because of the warm and dry weather, some people said they’re already putting extra safety measures in place.
“My husband just a few minutes ago came by to say that he upped our insurance,” said Vena Booth. “Our fire insurance. We have so many trees around our house, we wouldn’t have a chance.”
Reed said crews will be on site of the fire for the next few days mopping up and making sure containment lines stay secure.