A fire near Canyonville, Oregon in Douglas County which sprang up on Wednesday, July 24 ballooned from 40 acres on Thursday morning to more than 6,000 acres on Friday afternoon.
Known as the “Milepost 97 Fire,” there are now multiple emergency aircraft, firefighters, and officials on their way to southern Oregon as emergency “go now” orders are issued to a handful of property owners near the fire.
According to some reports, initial investigations show the blaze was started by an illegal campfire. So far, it has burned through land belonging to the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, as well as private timberlands and Bureau of Land Management property.
Air quality warnings were issued for Douglas County and surrounding areas earlier on Friday, as the fire began to pick up speed, advising residents to stay indoors and make sure their homes used proper filters to avoid smoke inhalation.
Reports say smoke from the fire has reached as far south as Ashland, where the town is already in the middle of deciding how to deal with the annual threat of smoke from wildfires. The city’s famous Shakespeare Festival is considering changing locations to avoid potential interference from wildfires just like Milepost 97.
By Ian MacRonald