Crews battling a complex of fires in southwest Oregon are facing heavy smoke, dry fuels, and windy conditions.
Wayne Patterson is an information officer with the South Umpqua Complex. He says Friday morning the smoke was chokingly thick. Patterson says the wind usually clears smoke in the late afternoon, but also contributes to more active fires.
“Cooler weather, it always helps to go ahead and slow that progress. The raised humidity is a big benefit to us. When that inversion goes ahead and breaks though, then the winds pick up and things dry out really quickly and the fire has become active and that’s happened day after day for the last two weeks.”
The South Umpqua Complex includes 4 fires burning about 45 miles southeast of Roseburg. The lightning-caused blazes have burned more than 21-thousand acres and are 18 percent contained.