|Above: Firefighters tackle the Lobster Creek Fire 12 miles |
northeast of Gold Beach in Curry County.
GOLD BEACH, Ore. - Firefighters gained considerable ground overnight on the Lobster Creek Fire 12 miles northeast of Gold Beach. The wind-driven fire started Sunday afternoon on private industrial timberlands and quickly grew to an estimated 450 acres by Monday morning. Since that time, fire crews have nearly completed hand and bulldozer lines around the fire’s perimeter. Current containment stands at 10 percent.
Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team (IMT), led by Incident Commander Link Smith, arrived Monday afternoon to relieve Coos Forest Protective Association crews and allow them to return to initial attack responsibilities on the district.
The IMT, comprised of 33 fire managers and support personnel, quickly assessed the needs and began ordering additional resources. About 450 firefighters will be working round the clock, split between a day and night shift. Ground forces are being supported with 6 helicopters, 3 retardant-dropping Single Engine Airtankers (SEATs), 3 bulldozers, 5 engines and 5 water tenders.
The Lobster Creek Fire has been determined to be human caused (not lightning), but remains under investigation. The fire is a good reminder that conditions are prime for ignition and fire spread. Fire managers are encouraging everyone to be cautious with fireworks this 4th of July as well as any other spark-emitting activity. Fireworks are currently prohibited in most areas. Other public fire restrictions in place include keeping campfires in approved campgrounds and vehicles on improved roads. The mowing of dried, cured grass, cutting and welding, and the use of power saws are also restricted. Check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry or forest protective association office for fire regulations in your area or where you may be traveling.