Small smoke towers can be seen coming off of the mountains near the small town of Bonanza. Hand crews are on the ground working to build a fire line, securing the perimeter of the fire. In the air, helicopters fly over, dropping fire retardant onto areas that are still burning.
While the size of the fire did increase on Sunday, most of the growth can be attributed to the fire reaching the lines in place. A containment line is around some of the fire, but crews are still working in other areas where the fire hot and hard to access.
Fire crews are encountering tough terrain and thick vegetation while battling the largest fire in our region this year. The warmer temperatures and lower humidity, combined with low fuel moisture, are testing the fire line and crews, many which are from the Rogue Valley.
“We’re always preparing and always getting ready to fight fires in any kind of condition, but being hotter and drier just makes our readiness that much higher,” said Corey Betz, an engine captain from Gold Beach.
One geographical layout working in favor of the firefighters is a nearby water source. A canal is only a few miles away, and it is rapidly accessible to helicopters. It only takes them two minutes to go fill up their buckets and return to dump it on the fire.
More than 900 people are fighting the Bryant Fire. The fire is estimated to cost over one million dollars, and is currently 15 percent contained.