More than 700 personnel still working on Lobster Creek Fire
GOLD BEACH, Ore. —
The Lobster Creek Fire is at nearly 450 acres so far and is not expected to grow. Now the Oregon Department of Forestry is sharing careful optimism that they're in the home stretch of battling the flames, but the fire has had its fair share of challenges.
Some of the challenges firefighters had to contend with are strong winds, dry weather and steep mountain terrain.
"It's early in the season it was unexpected for this time of year for things to get up and go so fast," said Tom Fields, Public Information Officer with the Oregon Department of Forestry. "But it's a testament to the conditions that are down here on the south coast."
According to Fields, the magnitude of the Lobster Creek Fire could be a telling sign of the conditions we could see in the coming months, when fire season really starts to take off.
"We're already statewide at 100-150 fires over our average for human caused fires for this time of year, so it's very scary right now," said Fields.
The exact cause of the Lobster Creek Fire is still under investigation, but it is a human caused fire. ODF is urging the public to be careful, use common sense and follow restrictions in your area.
The logistics behind the operation are a challenge all their own. Housing and feeding the more than 700 personnel on the fire takes enormous amounts of planning.
"Every meal, we're providing a protein, a carb, and fruit and vegetables and we're feeding them 10,000 calories a day and that number is based on science that they've studied based on how much firefighters are using in the field," said Nick Stumpf, Food Unit Leader Trainee.
Wildfires don't exactly take the holiday into account, but that doesn't mean the crew shouldn't. To celebrate the Fourth of July, incident command prepared a traditional BBQ dinner featuring ribs, potato salad, macaroni and strawberry shortcake.
"We're trying to make it special," said Stumpf. "We're all sacrificing to be here, so we really wanted to give a nice treat tonight."