Helicopter drops water on the Jack Fire

A helicopter dumps a bucket of water on the Jack Fire, which is burning east of Glide. On Monday, helicopters dropped nearly 53,000 gallons of water on the fire.

Lightning stressed firefighting resources, but crews battling the Jack Fire continued to hold fire lines around the 22,491-acre fire.

The lightning-caused fires were mostly confined to the southeast area of Twin Lakes and Calf Creek, but still forced firefighters forego fighting the Jack Fire in an effort to extinguish the new starts.

While some rushed to snub out the small fires, other crews worked the southeast corner of the Jack Fire, below Highway 138, and developed a plan to burn when conditions allow, according to fire officials.

Officials said when the back burn happens, more smoke may be visible to the public.

Air support is providing a crucial part in fighting the fire, officials said. A number of helicopters — some with buckets and others with tanks — spent a total of 11.5 hours in the air and dropped nearly 53,000 gallons of water on the fire.

The fire is currently 61% contained and continues to burn in steep, rugged and challenging terrain. Highway 138 remains open, but officials warn of changed speed limits, increased traffic and emergency flaggers.

Certain areas of the Umpqua National Forest, however, remain closed to an effort to protect the public. A full closure map can be viewed at www.fs.usda.gov/umpqua.

Ian Campbell can be reached at ian@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4209. Or follow him on Twitter


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