GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Firefighters have nearly contained a wildfire that threatened seven rural homes in drought-parched woods about 15 miles southwest of Grants Pass.
Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Brian Ballou said the Reeves Creek fire was spotted Monday evening between the communities of Selma and Kerby a few miles east of U.S. Highway 199. It sent up a column of smoke visible from Grants Pass.
Ballou said by Tuesday morning, there was a line around 70 percent of the fire, which had burned about 200 acres.
No one was evacuated, but firefighters were stationed around the homes and a nearby trailer park. Retardant bombers, helicopters and bulldozers joined hand crews. The cause was under investigation, but there were no lighting strikes in the area, Ballou said.
Red flag warnings were in effect because of hot temperatures, wind and isolated lighting across southwestern Oregon on both sides of the Cascades. Intense lighting was predicted from central Oregon east to the Idaho border through the end of the week.
Across eastern Oregon, 11 large fires were still burning on 822 square miles of timber and rangeland, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland. They were all touched off by lightning storms over the past two weeks. A total of 2,912 people were fighting them.
One small fire erupted Monday on Crater Lake National Park, apparently touched off by lightning the previous week. The Pumice Flat fire was burning through about 25 acres of mixed conifers in the south central part of the park. There were 55 people fighting it but no estimated date for containment. The park and facilities remained open, but hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail were warned to expect delays in coming weeks.
Another new fire was burning high in the Cascades in the Sky Lakes Wilderness on the Fremont-Winema National Forest about 24 miles west of Klamath Falls. There was no word on the Launch fire’s size, cause or containment.
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