The Oregon Department of Forestry has its hands full this morning with a fire that started in the late afternoon yesterday 10 miles west of Junction City. The High Pass 12.5 Fire has burned roughly 200 acres in remote timberland of Lane County. The fire is expected to grow considerably today given the conditions and terrain. Fire officials estimate that the fire is 10 percent contained. No structures are threatened.
Continued hot and windy conditions combined with tinder dry forest fuels have prompted ODF's Western Lane District to call for one of the agencies incident management teams. ODF's Type 1 IMT 2 (Chris Cline incident commander), comprised of 33 overhead personnel and support staff from across Oregon, will receive a briefing about the fire later today.
Currently, more than 200 firefighters are assigned to the fire that is burning in timber and young plantations in steep rugged terrain primarily on Bureau of Land Management and private industrial timberlands. The firefighters are being supported with two medium and two large helicopters, several fire engines and two retardant-dropping air tankers. The district is also receiving support from BLM, the U.S. Forest Service and several private landowners and forest workers.
Fire officials are hopeful that the recent heat wave will come to an end soon. Four ODF districts west of the Cascades imposed Industrial Fire Precaution Level 4 today that calls for a general shutdown of all forest operations due to extreme fire danger. Many workers unable to work due to the shutdown will be able to assist the district with the fire.