Crews Mop Up Early Season Fire Near Cottage Grove

May 13, 2019

Crews are mopping up a 75.6 acre fire that ignited Friday east of Cottage Grove. The Dowens Fire burned one home and is 80 percent contained as of Monday.

Marcus Kaufman is with the Oregon Department of Forestry in Springfield. He says mop-up is the methodical process of putting a fire completely out. It’s dirty, hard, work, but important, because they want to make sure this fire is completely extinguished.

Kaufman: “We’re only in May and the heart of fire season is still 2 months away, 3 months away. And we don’t want this fire to stand up on us in the middle of fire season when all of our crews and all of our resources are going to be deployed on some other incident.”

The Dowens fire started in brush and slash on a logging unit. It moved quickly in 90 degree heat with 10 to 15 mile per hour winds. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Kaufman says in the last 2 weeks fire crews responded to more than a dozen escaped debris burns in Lane County. Over the weekend, there were 4 more. There is a ban on outdoor burning in place in Lane County.

Copyright 2019 KLCC.