Crews respond to multiple fires after an active day of storms, lightning

Green Top Mountain Fire in Eagle Point. Courtesy: Lotus Shay

[Update 7/17/18 10:25 a.m] - about 1,000 lightning strikes across Jackson and Josephine counties on July 15, 2018 have created 68 confirmed wildfires.

Oregon Department of Forestry says the fires have burned a combined total of 565 acres and is 30 percent contained. There are no structures threatened, destroyed, or damaged.

Updates for each individual fire are below in the story.

Fire crews are busy Sunday night after an active day thunderstorms produced nearly 2,200 lightning strikes throughout southern Oregon and northern California.

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Service says that several agencies are busy responding to approximately 70 lightning-caused fire starts.

This article will be updated continuously with any new information.

Jackson County

[Update 7/18/18 9:47 a.m] - The fires withing the Wagner Creek Complex have burned a total of 250 acres and is 30 percent contained.

The Sterling Creek Fire grows to approximately 100 acres. Structures are threatened. Related | Sterling Creek Fire spreads rapidly, evacuations in order

[Update 7/16 10:36 a.m - The fire has burned about 100 acres. About 55 percent of the perimeter control line is complete. ODF says Rogue Valley structural units are working to protect homes.]

[Update 7/17/18 10:25 a.m] - Acres burned in the Sterling Creek Fire has stayed at 100 acres. Firefighter have finished a control line around the entire perimeter of the fire and it is 30 percent contained. Crews will continue to knock down the interior perimeter of the fire.

Hells Peak Fire, approximately 10 acres.

Green Top Mountain Fire, approximately 5 miles northeast of Eagle Point, continues to grow and is estimated at 45 acres. [UPDATE: 8:37 PM - The fire is holding at roughly 100-125 acres and crews have stopped the forward rate of spread. ]

[Update 7/16 10:36 a.m - ODF says the fire has burned about 125 acres and crews are working on a perimeter control line. The fire is 5 percent contained. ODF says the morning of July 16th, there were four spot fires, but they have already been knocked down and brought back to the main fire. There are both ground and aerial resources working on the fire. There are no structures threatened.]

[Update 7/17/18 10:25 a.m] - The Green top Mountain Fire has stayed at 125 acres burned and the control line is complete. Containment has gone up to 45 percent. Ground and air crews continue to fight the fire.

[Update 7/18/18 9:47 a.m] - The Green Top Mountain Fire has stayed at 125 acres and containment is 55 percent. Crews are going to mop-up the fire.

There are multiple fires burning in the area around Cleveland Ridge, Elk Creek, and Trail Creek, which is about 5.5 miles northwest of Shady Cove. The Trail Creek and Elk Creek Drainage Fire is about 10 acres. ODF says no structures are threatened and both ground and air crews are working to put out the fire.

[Update 7/17/19 10:25 a.m] - ODF says there are about ten fires within The Trail Creek and Elk Creek Drainage Fire and the largest one is about 20 acres. Multiple fires withing the drainage were lined Monday, including an 18 acre fire and several other fires sized an acre or less. The series of fire is 50 percent contained. ODF says crews will continue to prioritize the initial attack of the remaining active fires Tuesday.

[Update 7/18/18 9:47 a.m] - Crews continue to work on the fires that make up the Trail Creek and Elk Creek Drainage. Right now, there are about 12 confirmed fires. The largest fire is the 13 acres West Fork Trail Fire, which is 80 percent contained.

The Railroad Gap Fire has been mapped at 33 acres. Mutual aid has been sent to the Umpqua National Forest. Firefighters are working to knock down the interior. Residents can expect for smoke to be present.

Josephine County

[Update 7/18/18 9:21 a.m] - Oregon Department of Transportation says crews are working to prioritize the 12 fires that make up the Garner Complex. Crews plan to fully contain the smaller fires and create fireline around the larger ones.

Crews will work on keeping the fires in the Grave Creek branch east of Grave Creek, north of Pease Springs and Buck Springs. For the Pleasant Creek Fire, crews will work to keep it west of Pleasant Creek and south of the 33-4-22 road.

Crews can expect Wednesday to be hot and dry, with gusty winds during the night. ODF says these conditions, along with low relative humidity, can bring about very active fire behavior.

So far, the fires within the Garner Complex have burned a total of 960 acres and is two percent contained.

According to Oregon Department of Forestry, more than a dozen lightning-caused fires have also been discovered in Josephine County by ODF's Grants Pass Unit crews.

A fire near Little Grayback Peak, east of Cave Junction, is approximately 5 acres. [Update 7/16 10:36 a.m - The fire is estimated at 2 acres. ODF says no strictures are threatened. There are several ground resources working on securing the perimeter. ODF says smoke will be present.]

[Update 7/17/18 10:25 a.m] - The Little Grayback Peak Fire is stagnant at 2 acres burned. ODF says there is a control line around the perimeter. Smoke will be visible as crews continue to put the fire out.

[Update 7/18/18 9:47 a.m] - The Little Grayback Fire is 100 percent contained.

USFS says one fire on Sanger Peak is currently ten acres in size with rappellers, one engine and a 20-person hand crew assigned. The fire is pushing against containment lines

The Swamp Creek Fire is 16 miles north of Rogue River. ODF estimates the fire to be about three acres. Crews on the ground and in the air are working on the fire. There are no structures threatened.

[Update 7/17/18 10:25 a.m] - The Swamp Creek Fire is estimated to have burned about five acres. ODF says even though there is a control line around the fire's perimeter, mop-up will be a challenge Tuesday. The fire is 30 percent contained.

[Update 7/18/18 9:47 a.m] - The Swamp Creek Fires are now apart of the Grave Creek Series. ODF says updates on this fire will be found under there.

A fire in the Illinois Valley, 12 miles south of Grants Pass is about 10 acres. The Spencer Creek #3 Fire can be seen from Grants Pass. No structures are threatened and there are both ground and air crews working on the fire.

[Update 7/17/18 10:25 a.m] - The Spencer Creek Fires 1-3 are estimated to have burned about 105 acres. ODF says Specner Creek Fire #1 and #2 were lined overnight, but Spencer Creek Fire #3 continues to push firefighters to their limits.

[Update 7/18/18 9:21 a.m] - ODF says the objective for the Spencer Creek Fires is to keep the fires east of the 33-6-36 road that's north of China Creek Road and west of Water Gap Road and south of 38-6-6 Road.

The Grave Creek Fires 1-4 are off Upper Grave Creek Road and is visible from Wimer. Grave Creek makes up of 6-7 fires, 17 miles north of the Rogue River. ODF says these fires have burned about 115 acres. Grave Creek Fire #3 is the fire that has the most potential to make runs Tuesday and is a priority for the district. ODF says winds along the ridgelines will test current control lines in place. Tuesday, ground and air crews will continue to aggressively attack the fires.

Tennessee Mountains: The fire is three miles northwest of Cave Junction and has burned about seven acres. ODF says Monday night, crews wrapped a control line around the fire. Crews will continue to mop-up the fire.

The Fielder fire is north of milepost 53 on Interstate 5. The fire has burned about seven acres. ODF says firefighters have strengthened and secured the perimeter Monday night. Crews will start mopping up the fire.

[Update 7/18/18 9:47 a.m] The Fielder Fire is 100 percent contained.

The Taylor Creek Fire is seven miles west of Merlin. ODF says the difficult terrain, unfavorable weather conditions and limited resources are creating a challenge to firefighters. The fire has burned about 40 acres. Tuesday, dozers, ground and air crews and engines will be working on building a fire line. ODF says there is one remote structure about one mile from the fire's edge, but there are no additional structures threatened at this time.

Siskiyou Mountains (Ashland/Applegate)

The Hendrix Fire, estimated at 50 acres in size, is located along the border of Oregon Department of Forestry lands and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest administered lands near Hells Peak.

[Update 7/16 3:12 p.m] The Hendrix Fire is now estimated to be 170 acres according to Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. RRSNF says about 10,000 gallons of retardant was dropped Sunday, July 15th, but bucket drops from helicopters proved to be more effective.

Included with the crew that is already working on the fire, there is one hotshot crew and Type 2 Initial Attack crews. Air tankers, one heavy helicopter, dozers, engines along with other crews are on order.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team will be arriving Monday evening to take over command of the fire.

There is a Facebook page for the Hendrix Fire. Click here for fire updates.

[Update 7/17/18] - The Hendrix Fire is now about 400 acres in size. RRSNF says there is no immediate danger to homes or hiking trails, including the Pacific Coast Trail. Fire fighters are working to put out the fire as quickly as possible. There are helicopters making water bucket drops to help put out the fire.

[Update 7/18/18 12:15 p.m] - The Hendrix Fire has burned 550 acres. The fire is burning east of the 2001 Quartz Fire, between Glade Creek and Little Applegate River. The main challenges for crews are the steep terrain, heavy fuel types, high temperatures and poor access.Ground and air crews were suppressing the fire while the Incident Management Team set up the Incident Command Post at Applegate Fire district #9 headquarters and a base camp along Hamilton Road. RRSNF says there will be a Hendrix Fire Community Meeting Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Ruch Community Bible Church at 190 Upper Applegate Rd, Jacksonville.

Wednesday, crews will continue to scout and establish and hold control lines. Crews will also evaluate alternatives to try to secure line and minimize the spread east of Seven Mile Ridge and west of Hells Peak.

The incident management team is working with cooperators to talk about contingency planning in case of a possible evacuation in the area, depending on fire activity.

[Update 7/18/18 1:10 p.m] - The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is issuing evacuation notices to 35 addresses because of the Hendrix Fire. Rescue teams are going door-to-door notifying residents.

Level 3 "Go!" notice is in place for the following:

  • Little Applegate Road to Wagner Creek Road, bordered by USFS roads 2040 on the north and 20 on the south. The zone affects addresses 16001 Wagner Creek Road and 2300 Little Applegate Road.

Level 2 "Be Ready" evacuation notice is in place for the following areas:

  • The Dog Fork community from Little Applegate Road to west of Yale Creek Road. The zone includes 31 addresses. They are 3975 to 4075 Dog Fork road and 3812 to 6969 Yale Creek Road.
  • Wagner Creek Road, south of Wagner Gap to USFS road 20. This zone includes two addressees: 3434 McDonald Creek Road and 16099 Wagner Creek Road.


The Bear Fire, located approximately 2-3 miles northeast of Bear Camp and approximately 3 acres in size.

South Central Oregon

Wildland fire crews have responded to more than 20 confirmed fires.

The six acre Randy Fire is located approximately eight miles east of Bonanza and the largest incident from the weekend.

Siskiyou County

The Steamboat fire is now 50% contained.

RELATED | Crews battle "Steamboat Fire", Shasta Valley Wildlife Area closed

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off