Southern Oregon typically has more than a handful of wildfires in the late summer. This year's weather pushed summer, and wildfire season, later than normal. In the past three weeks, I've been out to two wildfires.
I like covering wildfires because there's flames, smoke, danger, homes threatened, crews working. News ready to order. Point, shoot, report.
The first-- North River Road Fire. It sparked just off of I-5 near the city of Rogue River, about twenty miles north of Medford. I went out to the fire Thursday evening when it first caught, covering the nuts and bolts of what happened and how it was being fought. My story ran at 11, and was requested by ABC stations in Eugene and Portland. Some technical difficulties came up, but if it weren't for them my story would have aired in all of Oregon. Cool.
I got home around midnight and went right to sleep, but got a call at 3am... the producers needed me to come in and report for the morning show. Awesome. I got some coffee and reported live over the phone four times in the morning shows.
Later that day, I covered how the firefighters were battling the flames in the wilderness. They do it on the ground and by helicopters. Guess who got to up in the helicopter?
Here's the story:
The Second-- The Dead Indian Mountain Fire, later renamed Little Butte Fire sparked about 20 miles from Medford. I got there at the same time as the media escort and he took me down to the front lines of the fire. I got great video of flames-- a rarity in wildfire reporting. Happy with this story.
Fire officials expect this fire season to last for another month or so. We're not out of the woods yet. So to speak.