© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Temps Dip, But Heavy Smoke And Potential New Blazes Test Fire Crews

Brian Bull

After days of triple-digit highs, slightly cooler temperatures are giving firefighters across the Pacific Northwest a reprieve.  But many challenges still face crews this weekend.

Poor to hazardous air quality blankets the region, and some forecasts show possible thunderstorms, which can create new, lightning-caused wildfires.  That’s what sparked a dozen fires outside of Oakridge, Oregon, which is collectively called the Middle Fork Complex.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Lauren DuRocher, PIO for the Middle Complex Fire, at a site where crews have worked on 'hot spots'.

On the south end of the complex, public information officer Lauren Durocher explained how controlled burns have helped limit its spread.

“Firefighters are using the fire to burn out the vegetation between our holding line and the coming fire," she told KLCC.  "That means when the fire does come, there’s less vegetation for the fire to burn.” 

Oregon forestry officials say more than half a million of acres have burned so far this year.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
Related Content