ODF Southwest has knocked down two similar fires at nearly the same time, one on the Medford Unit near the 2200-block of Buckhorn Springs road southeast of Ashland, the other near Hayes Hill and Old 199 outside of Wonder on the Grants Pass Unit. Both fires are extinguished and firefighters remain on scene of both incidents mopping up.
The first fire reported was in the Medford Unit; residents in the area reported a fire burning up the drainage. ODF responded as mutual aid with Jackson County Fire District #5 IAFF Local 2596, and found a half-acre fire. Firefighters were able to quickly line it and stop the forward spread of fire. ODF investigators are working to determine the cause.
Just 8 minutes after that fire was reported, our firefighters in Grants Pass were dispatched alongside Rural Metro Fire – Josephine County, Illinois Valley Fire District and Grants Pass Fire Rescue to a vehicle fire that had spread to the surrounding wildland area. Firefighters were able to stop that fire at a half-acre as well, and are mopping up. As this fire started from a vehicle fire, Rural Metro and the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office will be investigating the Inital cause.
Aircraft was ordered for both of these fires but not needed in the suppression efforts; instead, helicopters were used to do recon and ensure additional spot fires weren’t taking off uphill of the incidents.
No evacuations were needed for these incidents. Wind and location were both factors in why these fires were growing quickly; in both cases, wind pushed the fire up drainages. Without a quick response and an aggressive initial attack, both of these fires had the potential to take off.
Please be aware- as we get into the latter part of the summer, there’s an increased risk of fires starting and spreading more easily. Please be aware of these conditions, and follow all regulations to help us prevent fires here in the Southwest Oregon District.