Passing train likely started pair of brush fires near Roseburg

Passing train likely started pair of brush fires near Roseburg
The fire burned near the railroad tracks, likely ignited by a passing train

ROSEBURG, Ore. - Sparks from a passing train likely started two fast-moving brush fires along Roberts Mountain Road on Friday, one of which briefly threatened a home. 

Firefighters responding to the area reported seeing a large column.

The first unit arrived on the scene to find two fires burning, each about an acre.

One of the fires threatened a home in the 1100 block of Roberts Mountain Road.

Douglas Fire District 2 called in help from the Roseburg Fire Department, Winston Fire Department, Lookingglass Rural Fire District and Douglas Forest Protective Association.  

The crews worked together and brought both fires under control within 25 minutes of arrival, limiting the damage to only the natural ground coverings.

Fire investigators determined that a train had traveled through the area shortly before the first 911 call came in and was most likely the cause of the fires.

“We were fortunate today because of the low wind at the time of the fire, and the ability to commit a large number of resources to this incident because there were no other fires in the area at the time," Fire Marshal Ray Shoufler said. "Had this occurred during a high wind condition, and with resources spread thin it would have been a different story.”