Forest Service Firefighters Battle Blaze in Fountain Bluff of the Shawnee Forest

Mar 12, 2021

17 firefighters from U.S. Forest Service units in Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Oregon are in southern Illinois to help their counterparts from the Shawnee National Forest battle a wildfire in the Fountain Bluff area of the Shawnee.

The Jackson County Emergency Management Agency says their objectives are to protect firefighter and public safety, natural and cultural resources, infrastructure, and private property. The blaze was first reported Tuesday afternoon and due to the steep terrain and high winds Wednesday, the wildfire grew to 33 acres.

Thursday, fire crews established control lines on the south and east sides of the fire by clearing small trees and brush, and extinguishing spot fires as it spilled over the bluff on the north and west sides of the fire.

Friday, they're patrolling along the top of Fountain Bluff as well as the Fountain Bluff Road down below. Vehicles traveling in the Gorham area should slow down when encountering emergency vehicles.

The fire is not expected to grow with wet weather on the way.