ODF officials say that firefighters are engaged on the Wards Creek Fire, located in the hills above the 3100 block of Wards Creek road east of Rogue River. It’s estimated to be 2.5 acres at this time, and is 30% lined.
This fire was first reported to 911 at 9 pm on Tuesday night as a tree on fire in the hills above a residence on Wards Creek road. Jackson County Fire District 1, Evans Valley Fire District 6 and Fire District 3 resources were called out, but due to the rough terrain and nature of the incident, ODF firefighters also responded.
When ODF firefighters arrived on scene, they were able to confirm it was a lightning-caused fire that started in a single tree, but had spread to the surrounding area.
Nine engines and a bulldozer were called in to staff the fire overnight, but extremely steep terrain and dense brush slowed progress. In some areas, saws have been needed to make access and the terrain was deemed too steep for the bulldozer to be effective.
Water access has been difficult, and ODF is currently bringing a water tender up to the fire, as well as additional resources for the day. Aircraft may not be utilized on this incident due to the steepness of the slope; any water dropped from above could wash out the hillside.
Firefighters will continue to work on lining this fire. There may be increased fire behavior and visible smoke as temperature heat up today and fire activity naturally picks up in daytime conditions.
Authorities say that this time, there are no evacuations in place.
This is a developing incident. Medford Alert will continue to monitor and update as new information becomes available.