Level 1 ‘Be Ready’ evacuations for O’Brien due to Smith River Complex

O’BRIEN, Ore. – Level 1 “Be Ready” evacuations are now in place for the community of O’Brien due to the Smith River Complex near the California-Oregon Border.

Evacuations are along Highway 199 south of Rough & Ready Creek to the California Border.

Officials with the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest say they’ve already begun their firefighting response.

“We know that there’s a strong chance that we will be challenged and we are up to the challenge,” said Forest Service official Dan Quinones.

Quinones says Forest Service firefighters have already been responding to the fire, helping Del Norte County residents evacuate and bringing in hot shot crews to fight the fire.

“We’ve been bringing in resources and have them positioned throughout the forest as well as specifically in the Cave Junction area to maintain a quick and efficient response.”

The Oregon Department of Forestry has also shared its plans to help in the fight.

“We certainly have seen this scenario before most recently with the Slater Fire in 2020,” said ODF Southwest Public Information Officer Natalie Weber.

ODF says firefighting crews have been looking at how they have stopped fires in the past to better prepare.

“We’re working really closely with Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest on where we need to be to be prepared right now should this become a possibility in the future,” Weber said.


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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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