Saturday, August 13, 2016

Crews making progress on Redwood Highway Fire

Fire crews worked through the night cooling hot spots and monitoring fire lines on the Redwood Highway Fire in Selma. The cool and calm nighttime temperatures allowed for continued progress to be made on the line with 87 percent containment. The fire size remains at approximately 50 acres. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Just before sunrise, firefighters discovered a 1/100th of an acre spot fire 1,000 feet outside of the current fire line. Within minutes, firefighters extinguished the flames and formed a wet line along the perimeter. Throughout the day, ground crews and air attack will continue to monitor the fire securing the perimeter and watching for snags, spotting, and flare ups. The goal is to ensure the fire perimeter is 100 percent lined by this evening.

Firefighters working on structural protection and prevention this morning uncovered three homes, and at least five outbuildings  destroyed by the fire. It was originally thought by fire crews that only two homes were lost on Deer Creek Road; however, the daylight revealed that there were two homes on one property, a main house and guest house. All residents managed to safely evacuate. Firefighters will continue to search for additional structures damaged or threatened in the burned area.

Deer Creek Road remains under evacuation this morning. Residents on the 975 block and above on Deer Creek Rd. are at a "Be Set" Level 2 evacuation notice. Residents on the 974 block and below on Deer Creek Rd. remain at a "Go" Level 3 evacuation status. The road is closed to the public. After an additional assessment early this afternoon, Incident Command will revisit the option of reopening the road and changing evacuation levels. Residents seeking shelter assistance should visit the American Red Cross location in Cave Junction at 200 W. Watkins Street.

Redwood Highway is back open, but caution is advised. Firefighting operations are still occurring along the road and areas of smoke may be present.

The weather conditions today call for warm temperatures with variable wind gusts and low relative humidity. A fire weather watch will be in effect this afternoon beginning at 3 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m. We would like to thank all of the emergency agencies in Jackson and Josephine Counties that are assisting us and the public during this fire. We appreciate everyone's quick response and collaboration.

The Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District would like to remind the public that regulated use closures are in effect on ODF-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties.

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