GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has authorized the state fire marshal to send structural firefighters and equipment to help local fire crews battle a new wildfire that is threatening more than 130 homes in southern Oregon’s Jackson County.
The governor’s office said Tuesday night that the Rogue River Drive Fire between Eagle Point and Shady Cove started Monday and has grown to about 300 acres.
A Jackson County sheriff’s spokeswoman says a storm system that moved through the area Tuesday afternoon helped the fire gain momentum and cross containment lines.
Both mandatory evacuation notices and less serious advisories have been issued for residents on several roads in the area.
Elsewhere in Oregon, the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center says 7,000 lightning strikes blanketed central Oregon on Tuesday. Fire crews responded to 14 new fires but all are tiny.
Two new, large grass fires are also burning in eastern Oregon’s Gilliam County.