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00000171-95d3-d2cb-a5f3-9fff6ded0000 Check here for information on fires in our region. You can also check out these resources:Northwest Interagency Coordination CenterSWOFIRE: Oregon Department of Forestry, SW regionCalFire: Current Fire InformationInciWeb: Incident Information SystemOregon Smoke Blog: Smoke informationSouth Central Oregon Fire Management Cooperative (Klamath/Lake Counties & Crater Lake)

Rogue River Reopens As Oregon Fire Crews Gain Control

U.S. Forest Service
Taylor Creek Fire during burnout operations along the Rogue.

The Josephine County Sheriff's Office lifted a shutdown of boat traffic on the Rogue River Tuesday evening, reopening a stretch of river closed by wildfire.The Taylor Creek Fire had burned right down to the river in places, and crews managed to keep it from jumping the river and heading toward more populated areas.  But the firefighting effort resulted in the river being closed to recreation from below Grants Pass to Galice, one of the most popular rafting sections of the river.

The lifting of river restrictions came with a lessening of evacuation orders for some roads leading to the river, from Level 3 (Go) to Level 2 (Be Ready).  Included were homes along Galice Road and Indian Mary Park.

The Taylor Creek Fire, one of many started by lightning on July 15th, is now at roughly 40% containment after burning more than 41,000 acres of land.  As of Tuesday, the nearby Klondike Fire is being managed by the same team in charge of Taylor Creek, to make the best use of firefighters and equipment.

Elsewhere in Southern Oregon, evacuation levels were raised in the Upper Rogue country, guarding against the advance of the Miles Fire.  A level 2 (Be Ready) evacuation warning now stands on the north side of Lost Creek Lake north of Trail, and includes Lost Creek Dam on the Rogue.

What had been called the South Umpqua Complex/Sugar Pine Fires got a new name from managers and will now be called the Miles/Columbus/Snow Shoe/Round Top Fires.  By any names, the fires have burned close to 40,000 acres on either side of the Rogue/Umpqua Divide between Jackson and Douglas Counties.

Smoke from the fires kept the Rogue Valley air quality in the Unhealthy range for much of Tuesday, but also kept the fires stifled, managers reported.  Fire crews have been setting backburns to consume fuels before the fires can reach them.

Hot weather returns with the middle of the week.  The high temperature in Medford is forecast to rise above 100 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday.

Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.