|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Clues sought in man-caused fires near Gold Hill

    ODF wants to know origin of three fires sparked along Blackwell Road last week
  • The Oregon Department of Forestry is asking for the public's help in determining who or what started a string of wildfires along Blackwell Road and Highway 234 near Gold Hill recently.
    • email print
  • The Oregon Department of Forestry is asking for the public's help in determining who or what started a string of wildfires along Blackwell Road and Highway 234 near Gold Hill recently.
    "They were human caused, but we're not saying it was intentional," said Greg Alexander, ODF assistant Southwest District forester, adding that investigators haven't ruled out arson.
    Crews rushed to three fires along Blackwell Road between Gold Hill and the road's intersection with Kirtland Road on July 25, and they were called in Monday to smother another fire along Highway 234, Alexander said.
    None of the blazes burned more than an acre, he said.
    "We don't know if somebody's lighting them or what's going on. They all started by the side of the road ... it could have been something falling off a car or who knows what," Alexander said. "A lot of fires are the result of accidents."
    The trio of Blackwell Road fires were spaced out almost evenly along the road between the area of Knife River's aggregate plant on Kirtland Road and near Gold Hill, Alexander said.
    The fire on Highway 234 ignited near the Gold Hill Sports Park, he said.
    "If anybody saw anything that may have started these fires, it could help us with our investigations," Alexander said. "We investigate every fire to determine a cause."
    Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call the ODF Southwest District office in Central Point at 541-664-3328.
    About 75 percent of the average 240 fires ODF crews fight each year on private, state, county and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties are human caused, Alexander said.
    "This time of year, people really need to pay attention to the public closures that are in effect and really make certain that their actions do not start a fire," he said. "There are still months to go this fire season."
    Sam Wheeler is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email him at samuelcwheeler@gmail.com.
Reader Reaction

      calendar