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May 6, 2013
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Fire rages southeast of Canyonville

DAYS CREEK — Firefighters this morning were working to contain a fire that erupted around 2:30 p.m. Sunday on the ridge between Tiller Trail Highway and Upper Cow Creek Road and grew to 180 acres overnight, Douglas Forest Protective Association spokesman Kyle Reed said this morning.

The Shively Creek Fire, about 11 miles southeast of Canyonville, has not threatened any homes or caused any injuries, he said. The fire is visible in both directions, and DFPA has received calls from people in both the Milo and the Upper Cow Creek areas, he said.

Reed said the fire is 10 to 15 percent lined. Agency representatives were unsure when it would be contained.

DFPA is still investigating the cause of the fire, he said.

Today’s firefighting shift includes two helicopters, nine hand crews of 20 people each, three water tenders, two bulldozers and a fixed wing air observer. About 200 people worked to contain the fire Sunday night, he said.

A small amount of rain fell on the blaze, which Reed said helped slow the fire’s growth. However, he added that strong winds from Sunday night’s thunderstorm spread the fire out in all directions.

The week’s forecast calls for a slight cooling trend for the next couple of days before heating up again for the weekend.

“We’re going to try to take advantage of cooler weather to get a lot of stuff done,” Reed said.

Lightning strikes from Sunday’s storm resulted in numerous fires throughout the county. Reed said there are 20 reported smokes on DFPA lands, and he expects more to pop up this week as high temperatures return.

He said most of these fires are small, usually less than half an acre. He expects to have more lightning fires today from smoldering areas, he said.

DFPA also responded to a 10- to 15-acre fire and a smaller blaze, both outside of Drain. The latter consumed about an acre and a half, Reed said. There was also a small fire outside of Oakland.

He said many of the fires to which DFPA has responded this year are from people burning piles in their backyard.

“The wind picks up or shifts direction and it takes off. People leave a pile in the backyard, they don’t extinguish it, it smolders and it takes off again,” he said.

He asked people to refrain from burning if there is a chance the pile could get away. Other options include taking the pile to the dump, getting a chipper or waiting until a safer time to burn, he said.

• You can reach reporter Betsy Swanback at 541-957-4208 or by email at bswanback@nrtoday.com.

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The News-Review Updated May 6, 2013 05:26PM Published May 8, 2013 10:22AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.