Fire threatening over 7,000 structures in southwest Oregon

August 30, 2022 GMT

GALICE, Ore. (AP) — The Rum Creek Fire in remote southwest Oregon has burned nearly 18.75 square miles (49 square kilometers), is threatening thousands of homes and is only about 1% contained.

As of Tuesday morning, the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center said 5,035 homes and more than 2,600 other structures were at risk, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. Officials have said the fire has destroyed one home and two structures.

High temperatures and shifting winds in the next several days are expected to increase fire danger and cause the blaze to become more active, officials said.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for dozens of homes near the towns of Rand and Galice. Lower level evacuations are in effect for some surrounding areas.

Heavy smoke kept temperatures down and helped increase humidity levels, so fire activity slowed on Monday, the update said. The smoke also curtailed air operations and the fire grew by nearly 3.1 square miles (8 square kilometers).

ADVERTISEMENT

More than 1,300 firefighters are working the blaze with additional personnel arriving. Crews from California are working with the Oregon State Fire Marshall on structure protection, including areas east of the fire, where it is most active, officials said.

An air quality advisory has been issued for the area with the worst rating possible — hazardous — in Grants Pass, according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Josephine County and fire officials will hold a community meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at North Valley High School in Grants Pass. It will be broadcast it on Facebook Live.