SW Oregon Fire Recovery
In the early morning hours of July 26, 2013, a brief but potent lightning event sparked more than 60 fires in southwest Oregon. Most were contained within a few days; however, fires located in rugged terrain and episodes of extreme fire behavior caused several fires to surpass initial attack efforts. A two-month-long, large fire campaign in Southwest Oregon began with the fire activity focused primarily on the big windy and Douglas Complex Fires in the Medford and Roseburg BLM Districts.
The Big Windy Complex occurred on the south side of the Rogue River and included around 27,555 acres. Almost all is on BLM and is located primarily on lands managed as Late-Successional Reserve (LSR) and Wild and Scenic River (WSR). Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation (ESR) planning is underway and a final plan will be completed by the end of October.
The Douglas Complex includes three main fires and totals approximately 48,679 acres. The Douglas Complex burned through O&C checkerboard ownership, burning almost 19,000 acres on the Medford District, over 6,000 on the Roseburg District, and about 23,000 acres belonging to 27 different landowners. The Medford portion is primarily Matrix and the Roseburg portion is primarily LSR.
A SW Oregon Fire Recovery Team effort has been initiated to address the post-fire work that needs to be done, including rehabilitation, stabilization, habitat recovery, and economic recovery. In addition, the fires created a significant amount of roadside and fire area hazard trees and a heightened concern for public, employee, and worker safety.
Planning efforts are underway to address the post fire recovery needs.