High winds and drier weather have caused a rash of unusual late-season forest fires in western and southern Oregon.

State Department of Forestry officials fought a 300-acre blaze 20 miles southeast of Oakridge Friday on state-protected land belonging to the wood products firm of Pope and Talbot.Crews also were battling several small fires on a 300- to 400-acre area in the Applegate Valley near Medford.

The Oakridge fire started at Friday morning and was whipped by high winds, quickly moving through a logged-off area and a tree plantation. Fire officials said winds were pushing sparks a half mile ahead of the flames.

About 40 firefighters with heavy equipment were battling the flames. The cause was unknown.

About 30 firefighters, meanwhile, were trying to put out blazes at the 5,000-foot level in the Siskiyous in the Applegate Valley.