Land | NW Life | Oregon | Northwest Wildfires

Southwest Oregon Fires Will Likely Burn Into The Fall

OPB | Aug. 16, 2013 2:46 p.m. | Updated: Aug. 19, 2013 12:05 p.m.

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Fire crews continued to make progress Friday on a number of large fires burning in Southwest Oregon.  Fire managers say the largest of those, the Douglas Complex, is 65 percent contained.

Fire crews discuss the Douglas Complex fire.

Fire crews discuss the Douglas Complex fire.

Kyle Reed / DFPA

Fire managers can take different approaches when fighting a wildfire,  but the basic idea is this: Get the fire in a box and keep it from getting out. One wall of that box could be a rocky outcropping.  Or it could be a hand-dug fire line or a stretch of already burned ground ahead of the fire’s path.  

Fire information officer Jeree Mills said a fire that’s 100 percent contained isn’t extinguished - just unlikely to go anywhere.  Similarly, she said a fire that’s 50 percent contained might have lines all the way around it -  but half of those could still be a bit iffy.  

“You can put a good line in where it looks really good, but if the fire behavior is being extreme, your confidence level whether it’s going to jump that line or not, goes way down,” said Mills.

Mills said the southwest fires likely won’t be fully extinguished until the fall rains.

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