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Contributed By:

Rachel Sapin

A Look Back on the Biscuit Fire

OPB | July 12, 2012 9:20 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 11:45 p.m.

The Biscuit Fire, which was started by lightning, and lasted from July to September of 2002, burned nearly 500,000 acres of land that stretched across states, counties, and national forests. It was both the largest and the most expensive fire in Oregon’s history, costing nearly $155 million dollars. 


As the anniversary comes on the heels of the recent wildfire tragedy in Colorado Springs, we’ll both reflect back and look forward to how Oregon will deal with this year’s potentially potent fire season.  

Do you have memories of the Biscuit Fire? Are you concerned about wildfires in Oregon? 


  • Jerry Sorenson: Josephine County resident who survived the Biscuit Fire 
  • Tom Knappenberger: U.S. Forest Service Media Liaison for the Pacific Northwest Region
  • Neil Benson: Coordinator for the Josephine County Integrated Fire Plan
  • Travis Medema: Deputy Chief of Fire for the Oregon Department of Forestry 
  • Chris Chambers: Forest Resource Specialist for Ashland Fire & Rescue
  • Peter Goldmark: Commissioner of Public Lands for Washington State


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