Ore. FF airlifted to hospital after injury while battling Milepost 97 wildfire
Seven other firefighters also sustained minor injuries while battling Oregon's 11,000-acre wildfire
By Jim Ryan
The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.
ROSEBURG, Ore. — A firefighter was flown to a hospital after being hit by rolling debris while battling Oregon’s largest wildfire early Monday, officials say.
The firefighter was released from the hospital later that morning, officials said. Seven other firefighters have suffered lesser injuries while combatting the Milepost 97 fire, which authorities believe started Wednesday because of an illegal campfire.
The 11,668-acre blaze is burning in rugged terrain near Canyonville, a small city between Roseburg and Grants Pass. Fire officials said Monday that the blaze continues to move slowly south, paralleling Interstate 5.
Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Joe Touchstone said firefighters are working alongside the southbound interstate, and the fire is burning down to the road.
Traffic on the southbound interstate is down to one lane in the area, he said. No northbound lanes are closed.
An air quality advisory for Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and southern Douglas counties is in effect, as well.
“There is expected to be consistent smoke in the moderate to unhealthy range in these areas,” the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said in a news release. “People who are sensitive to smoke should consider leaving the area until conditions improve.”
The agency said Monday that the advisory will last at least several days.
Three homes have been evacuated, and 586 structures are threatened. None have been damaged.
The fire is 10% contained.
©2019 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)