Group accepting donations for firefighters

Group accepting donations for firefighters »Play Video
Photo courtesy Kyle Reed, DFPA

RIDDLE, Ore, -- Although officials last week warned against donation scams when it comes to the crews fighting the fires in Southern Oregon, there is something you can do if you want to help.

The old Sportsman Restaurant in Riddle is accepting donations for the firefighters camped out in the area.

Organizers say the firefighters are mostly in need of disposable razors and bath towels, but they are collecting other toiletries and books for them as well.

They already delivered their first load of donations on Tuesday night.

Yvette Powell, president of the Ladies Fire Auxiliary, says the donations might make a big difference for crews in their down time. "You don't know how much this means to have a book to read or a towel to dry themselves, or a washcloth," she said. "You know it makes a difference, a little bit of home." 

The Douglas Complex fire may keep some firefighters busy for months, and the auxiliary plans to accept donations until then.

Here is the latest update on the Douglas Complex and Whiskey Complex:


The Douglas Complex currently consists of Rabbit Mountain, Dad's Creek, and Farmer's fires. Overall the primary focus is to strengthen control lines on the Rabbit Mountain and Dad's Creek fires.  Crews from the Douglas Complex fire assisted Douglas Forest Protective Assn. firefighters control a Â1/4 acre fire ignited by lightning in the McCullough Creek area.

Rabbit Mountain - 21,598 acres
Most of the fire has not grown from the established control line except for the southwestern corner which continues to expand.  Operations to stop this southwest advance of the fire include construction of fireline supported by hose lays and water drops from helicopters.

Dad's Creek - 20,794 acres
The south end of the fire continues to burn near Grave Creek where fireline is nearing completion.  Containment lines in the Dry Creek and Poorman Creek areas continue to be strengthened to secure homes.  Crews worked to tie lines together on the west side on the fire. 

Weather:  A Red Flag warning was issued for the fire and surrounding area due to the chance of lighting that will last through 11:00 pm Friday, August 9th.  This morning over the fire will be mostly clear with clouds and potential lightning forming about 3:00 pm.  These lightning storms are predicted to bring rain. 

Evacuations and Closures: 

*     Cow Creek Road from Riddle into the fire area and from Glendale into the fire has been closed except for residendents.  The National Guard will be conducting traffic control the road blocks and not interfere with firefighters working in the area. 
*     The Level 2evacuation for McCullough Creek Road, Reuben Road, and Mt. Ruben Road in Douglas County and Lower Grave Creek, Grave Creek, and Lower Wolf Creek in Josephine County.  The area from the community of Wolf Creek to Watertank Gulch is a Level 1 evacuation.
*     Residences in the area are still considered threatened.  This means evacuations could be necessary at some point in the future.  Any official evacuation orders would be issued by the Douglas County or Josephine County sheriff's offices.

Public Safety/Prevention:  Firefighters are contending with hazards, like falling boulders and trees, old mine shafts, and narrow roads which are affecting access into some of the fire area.  Values at risk include homes, commercial timberland, and critical wildlife habitat.  There are no reports of homes burned.  Seven minor injuries have been reported.  Two outbuildings have burned.  

Douglas Forest Protective Association has increased prevention restrictions for both industry and the public. Check before commencing your activities.

Fire Statistics:    
Location:  7 miles north of Glendale, OR         
Percent Contained: 28%                  
Complex Size:  42,651 acres                   
Cause:  Lightning              
Start Date: 7/26/13                        
Total Personnel: 3,148              
Resources Include: 88 Type 2 hand crews, 4 Type1 hand crews, 111 engines, 28 dozers, 45 water tenders, and overhead personnel, and National Guard resources

Air Resources:  10 Type 1 helicopters, 7 Type 2 helicopters, and 5 Type 3 helicopters


Dozers and crews worked through the day on Wednesday toward containing Tuesday’s 250-acre slopover on the south side of the Whiskey Fire. A little more work is needed today to complete the task. Otherwise, the fire remains within the perimeter of fire breaks that firefighters have been building around it.
Aircraft from the Whiskey Complex were involved in detecting nine fires along the crest of the Cascades at the eastern edge of the Tiller Ranger District; they also took action on 11 new fires on neighboring districts, including two on land protected by Douglas Fire Protective Association.
Overall, the fires in the Whiskey Complex calmed down considerably on Wednesday. Temperatures were down and humidity was up, resulting in damper fine fuels that will no longer burn easily. Firefighters had extensive plans to improve lines by burning out the nearby fuels on Wednesday, but the fuels would not carry the fire. Light rain was falling on the south side of the Whiskey Fire on Wednesday evening.
The Smith Ridge Fire is fully contained, but still has some hot spots remaining. Since crews aren’t able to continue with their burnout operations, some will be assigned to mopping up the remaining Smith Ridge hot spots.
The Buckeye Fire is also fully contained, and crews are working at mopping up hotspots within 100 feet of the outer edge.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the Whiskey Complex through Friday night because of predicted thunderstorms. The Weather Service predicts a 40% chance of thunderstorms on Thursday, and a 30% chance on Friday. Any storms are expected to be accompanied by rain, but crews and aircraft will be prepared to take action on any new starts.  .
The Whiskey Complex fire camp was visited by two Bernese Mountain therapy dogs and one Belgian Malinoise therapy dog on Wednesday. Firefighters were observed lining up to pet the dogs and take their pictures.
Fire at a Glance

Total Size:  10,466 Acres
  Whiskey –  8757 ac
   Buckeye –  1682 ac
   Smith Ridge – 27 ac  (Contained)
Containment: 35%
Personnel: 931
Air Resources:
 5 Type 1 Heavy helicopters
 1 Type 2 Medium helicopter
 2 Type 3 Light helicopters
 1 fixed wing air attack aircraft
Location:  6 mi east of Tiller, OR.
Cause: Lightning 7-26-13