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ODF still looking into causes of recent fires

Do firefighters know what caused that recent slew of wildfires in our area?

— Via email

Local agencies are still looking to nail down a cause on the bigger fires, including the Quartz Creek, Heppsie Mountain and Fry Peak blazes, according to Oregon Department of Forestry public information officer Natalie Weber.

The Fry Peak fire, which popped up Oct. 21 about 14 miles north of Rogue River, grew to about 6 acres before crews contained it.

Three days later, ODF firefighters were at the Heppsie Mountain blaze, off Highway 140 up Heppsie Mountain Road. Last we heard, it had grown to 30 acres in size. ODF handed the fire over the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and we haven’t heard back from them. Hopefully no news is good news, but we’d still love to get that confirmation. Call us, BLM.

Firefighters were notified about Quartz Creek, spotted Oct. 26 north of Merlin, and corralled it at about 12 acres.

What caused the three blazes is not known, but ODF says warmer and drier weather, along with wind, aided their spread.

But those fires weren’t the only things ODF crews have tangled with these last couple of weeks.

“We’ve seen a couple of escaped burns, and those are on more residential properties,” Weber said. “Thankfully we’ve been able to catch those before they get to be too big.”

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.