Weekend lightning leaves dozens of small fires in forests

Weekend lightning leaves dozens of small fires in forests
A helicopter dumps a bucket of water on a lightning fire in Douglas County, Oregon

ROSEBURG, Ore. - Firefighters continued to run down possible forest fires in the wake of last weekend's lightning storms.

So far, none of the dozens of new fires have burned more than an acre.

That's good news for firefighters still tangling with the Douglas and Big Windy complexes of fires and other wildfires burning in southwest Oregon.

The Douglas Forest Protective Association located one new fire on Monday started by last weekend’s lightning storm, bringing the total number of new lightning fires up to 25, said Kyle Reed with DFPA.

Reed said that, so far, all of the lightning fires have control lines around them, have been mopped up and are currently in patrol status. The fires ranged in size from a single burning tree to about an acre, he said.

Sizes of these fires ranged from a single burning tree, to 1 acre of ground fire.

Firefighters from the Umpqua National Forest responded to 4 reports of smoke Monday. No new fires were confirmed, however.

Two smokejumpers spent the night working the Pup Fire in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide. That fire is now 100 percent contained.

The lightning-caused Douglas Complex fires have burned 45,483 acres to date and are now 50 percent contained. The complex is approximately seven miles north of Glendale in Douglas and Josephine counties on a mix of BLM and private forestlands protected by the Douglas Forest Protective Association. 

The 15,358-acre, lightning-caused Big Windy Complex is burning approximately 25 miles northwest of Grants Pass on BLM forestlands protected by Oregon Department of Forestrys Southwest Oregon District and is 15 percent contained.