The Douglas Forest Protective Association is currently working on approximately 20 new fires, which are believed to be sparked by a lightning storm that rolled over central Douglas County Sunday evening.
The largest collection of those fires, the Skyline Ridge Complex in southern Douglas County, had burned more than 200 acres as of Monday night. The largest of the fires, the Poole Creek Fire 8 miles west of Tiller, was estimated at 100 acres, while the O’Shea Creek Fire, 3 miles east of Canyonville, had grown to 80 acres. Additionally, the Ike Butte Fire, 9 miles southwest of Tiller, had burned 25 acres.
“Activity picked up quite a bit overnight, primarily on the Poole Creek Fire,” association spokesperson Kyle Reed said Tuesday morning. “We have been really focused on hold containment lines on the Ike Butte Fire. We were able to get bulldozers around that one last night.
“The biggest trouble is getting the resources we need. Crews are in short supply right now.”
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning increased evacuation orders for residents on Upper Cow Creek Road due to the Wildcat Fire. All residents in the 20000-block area of Upper Cow Creek are on a Level 3 “Go!” evacuation order, while residents at addresses betwee 18300 and 20000 on Upper Cow Creek are now on a Level 2 “Be Set” notice.
Firefighting efforts were being supported by four helicopters, two single-engine air tankers and a fixed-wing reconnaissance plane.
The Oregon Department of Forestry dispatched an incident management team to take command of the Skyline Ridge Complex effective Monday evening.
Crews are working to get these fires under control before a dry cold front moves in later in the week, bringing with it the potential of higher-gusting winds.
Three lightning-related fires were also spotted in the Cavitt Creek drainage southeast of Glide. All three were quickly contained and crews worked through Monday to put out hot spots within the fires and secure control lines.
The Dodge Creek Fire, first reported at 5 a.m. Monday west of Sutherlin, was limited to three acres, but reportedly did not appear to be related to Sunday’s lightning storm. The cause of that fire remains under investigation.