Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Brings in Additional Firefighting Resources

Release Date: Jul 19, 2021

Contact(s): Virginia Gibbons (541) 690-6681

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Brings in Additional Firefighting Resources

In preparation of predicted lightning activity

Southwest Oregon, July 19, 2021—Early this week, predicted weather patterns may draw some monsoonal moisture into the southeastern tier of the state, creating a threat of thunderstorms and bringing an increased risk of lightning starts.

Current fires burning in the advisory area have exhibited extreme fire behavior due to critical fuel conditions. Spread rates are difficult to control, and the fire behavior threatens firefighter and public safety.

The potential for extreme fire behavior exists due to critically low fuel moistures, very dry conditions from an extended drought and a recent record-breaking heat wave.

Due to these extreme conditions and potential increases in initial attack activity-and given the limited available resources in the Pacific Northwest-the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest (RRSNF) has requested a number of firefighting resources from outside the geographic area in order to be prepared for a potential surge in activity.

"Although the lightning activity predicted for early this week is expected to occur east of us, we are prepared for the worst, and hoping for the best," said Assistant Fire Staff Mike McCann.

Currently, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has fifteen additional engines on forest and another three engines are enroute. The engines come from as far away as Florida, with others coming from Arkansas, Nevada and Alaska; the engine coming from Alaska will travel on a barge at one point in its journey to the mainland.

In addition to the engines, a Type 2 initial attack crew, one dozer and one water tender are also poised to respond. All additional resources being brought in will be staged at various ranger district offices across the forest.

Meanwhile, firefighting resources from the RRSNF are currently supporting ongoing large incidents in the Pacific Northwest (the Jack Fire and the Bootleg Fire) and our local aviation assets,  including air attack, two Type 1 (heavy) helicopters, one Type 2 (medium) helicopter and the Siskiyou Rappel crew, have been engaged in suppression activities on various fires, as well.

Two of our Forest Service engines (Wild Rivers and Powers Ranger Districts), and the Rogue Interagency Hotshot Crew, is currently assigned to the Jack Fire on the Umpqua National Forest. In addition, the Gold Beach hand crew was combined with the Prospect hand crew and mobilized to assist with numerous emerging fires in Washington State.

The Medford Airtanker Base has continued to support multiple incidents with over 725,000 gallons of retardant dropped in support of 20 wildfires as of July 19, 2021.



USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.