Saturday Sigh!

A sigh of relief!

Jeannie and me reacting to the last report on the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Southwest website:

Hugo Road Fire FINAL Update 09/06/18

Quick Facts:

Incident Start Date: 09/02/2018 
Incident Start Time: Approx. 7:15 p.m.
Incident Type: Wildfire
Cause: Under Investigation
Incident Location: Hugo, which is roughly ten miles north-northwest of Grants Pass in Josephine County, Oregon
Land Threat: Private
Command Agency: ODF
Fire Size: 199 acres
Containment: 86%

Current Situation:This will be the final update for the Hugo Road Fire unless conditions significantly change.
Firefighters continue to boost containment on the Hugo Road Fire, now reaching 86 percent. The fire remains at 199 acres.

Overnight, crews were able to mop up 300 feet from the fire’s edge, adjacent to roadways, and surrounding the perimeter of homes. Within the mop up area, very few hot spots were found. All residences are at a Level 1 “Be Ready” evacuation notice, and will remain at such until Fire Season 2018 comes to a close, per the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office.

Local fire personnel will continue gridding the landscape for interior hot spots and conducting suppression repair throughout the next few days. It is normal to see light smoke during this process, but it is now well within the interior of the fire’s footprint which does not pose a threat to our community. There will still be fire apparatus present until the final mop up stages are complete. We encourage everyone to continue to use caution while traveling through the area.

Thank you again to every single partner agency and community member for the assistance and support throughout this firefight. It is an honor to serve and live in this community.

Evacuations:

Due to progress made by firefighters on the Hugo Road Fire all current evacuation levels are being downgraded to a Level 1 “BE READY” notice. Level 1’s will remain in effect until the end of the fire season.

For information regarding information, please contact the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, or follow the Josephine County Emergency Management Facebook page as evacuation levels are anticipated to change shortly.

Assigned Resources:
Engines: 10
Water Tenders: 4
Helicopters: As needed
Hand Crews: 8
Dozers: 4
Total Personnel: 211
Air Tankers: As needed

All of which doesn’t negate in the slightest the fact that two homes were completely destroyed!
Or in the words of the Mail Tribune (September 3rd):
The fire was listed late Monday as 30 percent contained, but not before it destroyed two houses, 13 outbuildings two recreational vehicles and 11 vehicles, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. Fire also damaged three other residences, two out-buildings and a vehicle, according to ODF.
It is easy to read those words and not be greatly affected by them.
But the reality of having to evacuate one’s home in a hurry and then subsequently returning to find it burnt to the ground is terrible beyond imagination. Everything lost. A wiping clean of one’s life. Having to start all over again. Dreadful, truly dreadful.
Roll on the Autumn rains!

20 thoughts on “Saturday Sigh!

      1. Not being a native of this State I had to look up where Ruch was! Had no idea it was very much in this neck of the woods! Less than 40 miles from Merlin. Is it as rural as Merlin?

  1. I read the report of the downgrading… And yes, you were lucky to be spared as the fire crept so close. Thoughts of sadness for the people who lost their homes and possessions that were the accumulations of their lives. But what is important, is that there was no documentation of the loss of human life! I don’t know what wildlife might have been killed in such a blaze… Poor innocents. Glad it is over.

    1. Wouldn’t argue with any of what you say! There was no loss of anyone’s life including, thank goodness, no harm to any of the firefighters. My guess, and it is only a guess, is that the wildlife instinctively fled the scene. Yes, onwards and upwards.

  2. So pleased to read all is well with you both. And those fire fighters all of them deserve huge praise for the ongoing efforts in containing such fires.. Thank you for sharing and hope the rains soon come..
    Guess what? its raining here today.. much needed too.. 😀 take care both of you.

    1. If anything remains unchanged, in terms of weather patterns, then we should see rain within the next month. And well said regarding the firefighters! They have had a long and very arduous season.

      The young man, Tyler, who runs The Red Barn from where we purchase our animal feed, including the feed for the wild deer, also owns and manages three fire tenders. We were there the other day and he was bemoaning the fact that some of the fire crews manning those tenders hadn’t been home for two months.

      Incredible dedication!

  3. I also live on acreage in a rural environment in a fire prone area of the world. The area immediately around our house on our 2 1/2 acre block is relatively clear but I do worry about our adjoining 16 acre ‘bush’ block of native forest. It provides a wonderful refuge for wallabies, bandicoots and other native animals and birds (even yellow tailed black cockatoos) but I’m concerned that with increasing summer temperatures worldwide, it could be just a matter of time before this threat eventuates. The driveway to our house is rocky and gradually descending and there’s no turning circle for fire trucks so I don’t know that we could rely on them if things got serious. I’ve decided that the important things are to have our house well covered by insurance and to get the dogs, cats, photographs, and financial documents into the cars ASAP should an emergency eventuate.
    So glad to hear that you, Jean and your house is ok, Paul.

    1. Oh Marg! We are separated by so many thousands of miles yet joined together so closely in terms of lifestyle and concerns. In the end, your decision is the only way to go. That was the ‘gift’ to Jeannie and me from the Hugo Fire: to truly get the message about having an evacuation plan!

      Thank you, Margaret! Big hugs!

  4. Such a scary thing to have to evacuate. I have not ever had to evacuate from fire but have from hurricanes and the damage when returning is truly heart sickening. My sympathy and prayers to all of those effected. Glad that you and yours missed this particular disaster.

    1. There’s a part of me, Anita, that wonders if I could ever pick myself up from the house being destroyed by a fire, hurricane or some other flick of Nature’s finger. Thank you so much for your kind words.

    1. Oh, thank you so much! Yes, in the roads around here there are literally hundreds who have put out ‘Thank You’ signs for the firefighters. Might grab a photo of one or two in the next few days.

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