On Thursday, fire commanders said that the $22 million Oregon wildfire was started by a single lawnmower and the culprit may find himself on the hook for millions of U.S. dollars.
The July 30 Stouts Creek fire started on the outer edges of Umpqua National Forest, which lies to the east of Canyonville. According to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, the fire, which was 63 percent contained by Thursday, has already consumed about 23,841 acres, posing a serious threat to 158 homes.
According to the agency, complete suppression is not anticipated until Aug. 22nd or later.
On Thursday, investigators associated the wildfire with a human cause saying it was “related to an individual mowing grass” during prohibited hours.
The Forestry Department said, “Because of the violation, the individual may be liable for fire suppression costs and damages resulting from the fire.”
The fire will be a costly affair as there are more than 1,500 firefighters from three Canadian provinces and 23 states tackling the raging fire with 21 bulldozers, 46 engines, 30 water tenders and 10 helicopters. The bill currently stands at $22.4 million, and is expected to rise.
Deputy Incident Commander Russ Lane said, “Despite the success we’ve had, this is still a big fire with a lot of life and potential in it.”
According to officials from the fire department said that there was an approximate 45 miles of fire hose designed to deliver water to the fire personnel on the line. In total, there are 1900 men and women fighting to contain the fire which broke out near Milo, the small community lying approximately 14 miles southeast of Roseburg.
The Stouts Fire was Oregon’s largest at an approximated 24,000 acres and that most of the fire’s most recent intensification came from burnout activities to leave the fire without fuel.