Mail Tribune 100

Oct. 9, 1917


The forest fires situation in Jackson county at the present time is as bad, if not worse, than at any time this season.

Besides the three big fires in live timber at the head of Elk creek on the Umpqua divide, which Forest Supervisor Erickson and over fifty men are battling, and for which many reinforcements are needed, there are many other fires, several of good size, throughout the county outside of the forest reserve.

The biggest forest fire of the year is raging in the Elk creek country, and Supervisor Erickson phoned to J. T. Payne of the Union stables, who hires fire-fighters for the government, in this city last night to rush all the men he could find to the Elk Creek neighborhood.

This morning Mr. Payne sent up eleven men, making in all fifty that he has sent to Elk creek since last Thursday. He was searching the city for more men today.

It was reported this noon that fifty fire-fighters would arrive in the city tonight from Portland and would at once be rushed to Erickson.

The Elk creek fires are crown fires — that is, the flames leap from the tops of trees to adjoining trees.

The Jackson County Fire Patrol association has thirty men scattered about the county working on fires outside of the forest reserve, according to District State Supervising Fire Warden W. T. Grieve, this noon. One of these fires, on Glade fork, in the Applegate, is of serious dimensions.

Mr. Grieve stated that the several fires up in the Siskiyous, on which he had been working for the past five days, and which are of fair size, were not yet under control. Two of these fires were set by lightning last Friday, an unusual circumstance for this time of the year.

In addition, there are many small fires, besides others of the brush variety. Many of these fires, according to Mr. Grieve, were set by land owners. The law says that owners who desire to start fires to clear their lands must, up to October 1, obtain permits from designated authorities. Many land owners, it is claimed, deeming the law inoperative after October 1, have started fires on their lands, not taking into consideration the fact that this fall, unlike in other years, is excessively dry.

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