OAKRIDGE, Ore. — More crews are called in to help fight a number of forest fires burning in the Willamette National Forest. Two of the larger fires are burning near Oakridge.
About 150 firefighters are battling two major fires, one the Buckhead Fire it’s about 15 acres, the other is the Evangeline.
“Usually it’s not that close, usually out of sight, but when it gets close we all keep an eye on it,” said Oakridge resident Sandy Nixon.
Some Oakridge residents are keeping an eye on the Buckhead Fire, but for the most part forest fires come with the territory. “We are in Oregon and it’s summer, so there are fire crews coming and going all the time,” added an Oakridge resident. “It’s not anything yet, but it could be,” added another Oakridge resident.
Helicopter pilot Scott Myers is attacking the Evangeline fire from the sky on Thursday. “I was up for about an hour and 45 minutes and dropped about 28 buckets at 700 gallons a piece,” said Myers.
“They come right over us,” added an Oakridge resident.
“It’s burning downhill and they are running into problems. The logs will catch on fire, pinecones will catch on fire and fall down and the fire will start up again,” said South Cascade Interagency Management Public Information Officer Tom Berglund.
“The terrain isn’t helping, it’s rocky and filled with cliffs. Firefighters will try a controlled burn, likely Friday, to stop the fire below it. Some roads and bike trails including the Alpine Trail are closed. “Some bikers are coming in for an event next weekend for that trial, so that might have to be changed,” said Berglund.
It’s unclear when the fires will be under control.