Friday, May 31, 2013

Beacon Hill Fire Burns 75 Acres

A fast moving grass and brush fire broke out around 3:30 p.m. today near Interstate 5 east of Grants Pass. One home was damaged by the wildfire and an outbuilding burned. No injuries have been reported, and no evacuations have been called for.

The fire is burning through heavy brush and mixed forest on Beacon Hill. Steep terrain and continuous vegetation caused the fire to grow rapidly between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Beacon Drive is closed to traffic, and one lane of the northbound lane of Interstate 5 is closed, but traffic is moving through. Jones Rd. is closed.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Approximately 100 wildland firefighters and 70 structural firefighters are working to contain the blaze and protect homes.

Two helicopters are dropping bucketfuls of water on the fire, and two bulldozers are constructing fire line.

Structural fire departments involved include Grants Pass Fire-Rescue, Rural-Metro Fire Department, Illinois Valley Fire District, and numerous engines from fire departments in Jackson County.

Suppression of the fire is being jointly managed by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry and Grants Pass Fire-Rescue.

Crews will be fighting the fire tonight and additional crews have been ordered for Saturday. Heavy smoke on Beacon Hill will be visible until nightfall, and residents will likely smell smoke throughout the night and well into Saturday.