August 11, 2017 10:30 a.m.
A large thunderstorm settled in the Umpqua basin on Thursday producing abundant lightning strikes across the Umpqua National Forest, where there are now 42 fires.
Cheryl Caplan from the Forest Service says that the number of new starts reported will continue to increase. Caplan says that fire managers will use detection flights and detection cameras to locate new fires. Initial attack on fires in areas of steep, rugged terrain remains a challenge for firefighters. Caplan says that fire managers are working together to move resources throughout the Umpqua National Forest to address new and existing fires.
22 of the fires are on the Diamond Lake Ranger District with 15 fires on the Tiller Ranger District and 5 fires on the North Umpqua Ranger District.
A Red Flag warning continues through Friday on the forest. Temperatures are expected to decrease Saturday as cooler weather enters the Umpqua basin. Caplan says however, that it will bring the threat of erratic and gusty winds.
Public Use Restrictions remain in place on the Umpqua National Forest and across Oregon.
Smoking is prohibited on the forest except within a closed vehicle or building, or in a boat on water. Matches and smoking materials should be disposed of in a metal container and not on the ground. Campfires are limited to fire rings in designated campgrounds.