Curry Wildfire Prevention (CWP) was born from the ashes of the Chetco Bar Megafire, which roared through Southwestern Oregon during July, August and September of 2017. The fire was declared 100% contained on November 4th, 2017.
As reported by Monty Edwards, the first US Forest Service Chetco Bar Fire Incident Commander, the fire was started by lightning strike on June 26th. No incident report was filed until July 12th, when a commercial airline pilot viewed smoke coming from the ridge, where the fire was burning, and radioed in to the authorities.
At that point, the fire was only 1/4 acre in size and was burning in the scars of the 2002 Biscuit Megafire (500,000 acres) and 1987 Silver Megafire (150,000 acres), both fires originating in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, within the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, between Brookings, Oregon on the West and Cave Junction on the East. The fire could have been easily extinguished, but instead, the US Forest Service chose to “Let It Burn,” which ultimately consumed 191,125 acres of wilderness forestland.
This is the story of the 2017 Chetco Bar Megafire, how it affected our community and our economy, how it destroyed numerous homes and outbuildings, cars, trucks and killed millions of wild animals. It is NOT a pretty story, but it IS THE TRUTH!