End-Of-Summer Thunderstorms Spark Fires Across The Region

Sep 5, 2019

Fire fighters across much of southwestern Oregon and northwestern California are working to get on top of a string of wildfires set off by hundreds of lightning strikes caused by the thunderstorms that rolled through the region Wednesday night.

UPDATE: FRIDAY, SEPT. 6, 5:00 a.m. ... The Red Bank fire, about 25 miles west of Red Bluff in Tehama County, CA continued to grow overnight, reaching 6,000 acres. It remains zero percent contained. Evacuation orders remain in place. CalFire reports there are 650 personnel assigned to the fire, as well as about six air tankers.

Fires have also been reported in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The Los Angeles Times reports fire crews are working on or assessing as many as 24 small, lightning-caused fires in the 2.2 million-acre forest. All are in remote areas and none are threatening structures or communities.

Similarly, officials at the Klamath National Forest reported about two dozen fire starts. All are have firefighters on scene or are being monitored. They range in size from one-tenth of an acre to five acres. None are threatening structures or communities.

In Oregon, the Department of Forestry has received as many as 30 reports of fires in Josephine and Jackson Counties, with 18 confirmed as of Thursday evening. Five have been extinguished.

In Jackson County, the majority of fires were reported on the east side, ranging from the California-Oregon border to Grizzly Peak and Butte Falls. In Josephine County, fires range from the Applegate Valley to Deer Creek, Sexton Mountain and Wolf Creek. The largest is south of Butte Falls, estimated to be 3/4 of an acre.

ORIGINAL POST: THURSDAY, SEPT. 5, 6:30 p.m. ... By Thursday evening, crews on the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest had gotten seven fires -- all under half an acre -- under control.

But another lightning-caused fire in Tehama County, California is spreading quickly. The Red Bank fire is burning about 25 miles west of Red Bluff. It was reported shortly before noon Thursday and grew quickly from 40 acres to over 4,500 by 6:00 p.m. The fire is zero percent contained.

Multiple structures are threatened and mandatory evacuations have been ordered in the Hammer Loop Road and Pettyjohn Road areas and the Red Bank Oaks subdivision.

Red flag warnings are in effect for much of the region and more thunderstorms are expected Thursday night into Friday.