Lightning sparks over 50 fires across Douglas County

Lightning sparks over 50 fires across Douglas County

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- Lightning struck over 200 times across Douglas County early Friday morning during a thunderstorm, sparking over 50 fires.

The Douglas Forest Protective Association says most of them have been in towards the south of the county, but lightning struck as far north as Sutherlin. 

DFPA located 54 fires started by Friday morning's lightning storm.  Areal surveillance found that the fires ranged from less than an acre up to several hundred acres in size.

Officials said that as of Friday night no homes or buildings were threatened by the fires.

They said the complex is burning on around a combined 2000 acres of DFPA-protected forests, including both private and BLM lands.

The Oregon Department of Forestry took over the Douglas Complex fires Saturday morning.

The majority of the fires were located in the southwest portion of the district, in the Cow Creek Canyon area south/southwest of Riddle. 

Lookouts in the Umpqua National Forest are also reporting smoke sightings, with one confirmed fire in the Tiller Ranger District.

They say more fires are expected to be confirmed not only in the Tiller district, but North Umpqua Ranger District as well.

DFPA and forest service officials say residents are asked to use caution over the next couple days to prevent human caused fires as firefighters battle the lightning fires.