240 miles south of Portland, the Rum Creek Fire has burned about 11,000 acres and is still uncontained. There has been a state-wide proclamation of emergency.
Firefighters are hoping that a surge of bodies along the perimeter of Oregon's biggest wildfire in August will put a stop to it before a hot wave and possible wind gusts increase its growth.
They stated that during the weekend, the 10,709-acre Rum Creek Fire had already doubled in size, claimed the life of a firefighter, and destroyed a house.
Officials said there is a rush to clear and secure fire lines towards the back end of the wildfire, to the south, where thousands of homes may receive fireside views if it reverses with the wind, due to fear over predicted 100-degree days and possibly high winds.
According to the most recent federal update, more structural protection-trained fire units arrived on Sunday. According to the report, there were 135 state-led structure-protection firefighters on the scene.
The statement, which was sent under the direction of the US Bureau of Land Management, stated that they were taking further steps to better safeguard homes and outbuildings, including installing sprinkler kits and removing vegetation using hand tools.
The Rogue National Wild and Scenic River and Rand Recreation Area, both under the control of the Bureau of Land Management, are located in the vicinity of the wildfire, which is located 240 miles south of Portland.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there are 42 active wildfires in the Southwest, California, the Pacific Northwest, Idaho, and Montana. It stated in a daily report on Monday that more than 300,000 acres had been eaten.
This week, there is "high wildland fire potential," the start warned. Structures south of the Rum Creek Fire in southwest Oregon are a source of worry.
According to Kyle Reed, a spokeswoman for the federal and state response, "the concern for the next several days is that there are triple-digit temperatures in the forecast, and we're going to see the possibility for gusty winds that will drive it south-southeast, into a very populous area."
The change that would cause the winds to shift from north to south is most likely to occur Tuesday evening, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Nieuwenhuis. The wind might gust to 20 mph.
It appears to be likely, he said. "Although it is not a strong breeze, the direction is completely changing. Peopled places would be immediately hit by it."
The resort town of Galice, which bears the name of the Frenchman Louis Galice who is credited with discovering gold in the region dominated by the Rogue River, lies in the route of the fire if it does a U-turn. The United States Census Bureau did not keep tabs on the population of the unincorporated community.
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office halted boating on the Rogue River in the vicinity of the fire, and residents of the nearby town of Merlin were advised to be on the lookout for potential evacuation orders.
For areas near the fire's perimeter, evacuation orders were mandatory.
Gov. Kate Brown gave the state fire marshal supervision of the incident on Saturday and instructed local departments to send firefighters to the scene as part of mutual aid, citing the threat to Galice and the nearby town of Rand.
She made the emergency declaration on Monday in response to a prediction of fire weather, including drier-than-average conditions, to guarantee that Oregon is ready for the worst.
According to a state after-action investigation and NBC affiliate KGW of Portland, the biggest incident was in 2020 when five flames burned more centerthanwas 100,000 acres and numerous other smaller ones raged during September, killing nine people and destroying thousands of structures.
Successful legislation passed last year as a result, providing more than $220 million for fire preparedness and the upgrading of organizations and instruments used in battling fires.
The ashes of 2020 loom big in Oregon, according to Karl Koenig, president of the Oregon State Firefighters Council, a union that represents more than 3,500 state firefighters, EMTs, and other first responders.
In that year, there were 1 million acres of wildfires in the state, and firefighters were dangerously overworked. The tragedy prompted introspection and a review of the state's approach to managing flames.
Examining the causes of the fires encouraged quick responses based on the most recent mapping and forecasting techniques, which are evident in the effort to combat the current threat, according to Koenig.
He declared, "We're pouring into that Rum Creek Fire." "We're talking about thousands of homes if things go bad. But the situation is still under control. We can focus resources and direct them to where they will be most useful."
According to the Oregon Department of Forestry and Bureau of Land Management, the fire was ignited by a lightning strike on August 17 and resulted in the death of firefighter Logan Taylor, 25, who ran a private firefighting firm under contract with the state, the following day.
Authorities said that a tree had struck him.
Taylor was the second firefighter to pass away in Oregon this month as a result of being hit by a falling tree. Federal authorities reported that Collin Hagan, 27, perished on August 10 while battling the Big Swamp Fire in Douglas County.
An edict from the governor required all public institutions in Oregon to fly their flags at half-staff on Monday in Taylor's honor. In a statement released on Friday, the governor, Gordon Brown, stated, "My heart hurts for the family, friends, and crew of Logan Taylor.
The heat wave was expected to hit southwest Oregon the hardest on Tuesday and maintain above-average high temperatures in the vicinity of the fire for the majority of the week. It was driven by a high-pressure system over California and Nevada that was moving north.
The National Weather Service predicts high temperatures Tuesday that will exceed 100 degrees.
According to meteorological service meteorologist Nieuwenhuis, relief could arrive on Friday when a weak cold front from the Pacific would pass in and cause temperatures in the Rum Creek Fire's vicinity to drop by 5 to 10 degrees.
Nieuwenhuis stated that if the weather shift didn't include brisk gusts from the Pacific, it would be pleasant.
He stated, "That would be a concern."