The Blackwell Hill Fire broke out just before 4:00 p.m. and quickly burned across an expanse of grass, brush and oak. One structure burned near the point of origin. The fire continued in an easterly direction onto the heavily forested slopes of Blackwell Hill. Three helicopters dropped water and two airtankers delivered retardant onto the fire front until nightfall.
The fire area is approximately 1 mile east of Gold Hill and 1 mile north of Interstate 5.
Homes and other structures in the fire area received protection from firefighters and engines mobilized as part of a structural fire protection task force, composed of personnel and equipment from fire districts in Jackson and Josephine counties.
Wildland fire suppression resources included 7 ODF engines, 4 contractor engines and 6 bulldozers. Additional crews were ordered to assist with fireline construction operations, which will continue through the night.
Blackwell Hill Rd. is open to local residents and fire traffic only. Roadblocks staffed by Jackson County Sheriff Search and Rescue personnel are in place at Kirtland Rd., Gold Ray Rd., Merita Terrace and Foley Rd. An evacuation center has been set up at the Community Bible Church, 500 N. Tenth St., Central Point.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.