Friday, August 31, 2018

Firefighters Stop I-5 MP 54 at Approximately 20 Acres

Firefighters halted the I-5 Milepost 54 Fire burning near Grants Pass at approximatey 20 acres around 5:30 p.m. this afternoon. The initial report came in just after 2:30 p.m. with an estimated size of one-acre. Within minutes, the fire began spreading and spotting upslope in the direction of a dozen homes. While the homes were initially threatened by the fire, no homes were lost or damaged by this incident. Resources from multiple agencies were able to attack the fire both on the ground and in the air, and get a fire line around the perimeter a couple hours later. The steep slopes and difficult access off of the freeway posed a challenge for all crews; however, they were able to make progress quite quickly. The current fire size is still an estimate, and accurate mapping will take place overnight.

Several firefighters will be strengthening control lines and mopping up overnight in order to reach full containment. Fire investigators are currently looking into the cause of this fire, as well as the 1/10th of an acre fire which was knocked down quickly near I-5 MP 51. Please use caution when driving through this area for the remainder of the night as fire traffic will still be present.

This fire is a true testament of our aggressive and safe initial attack. Every single partner's collaboration during this incident lead to this afternoon's success. Crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District, Applegate Valley Fire District, Rural Metro Fire Josephine County, Grants Pass Fire/Rescue, Evans Valley Fire District, Rogue River Fire, and Illinois Valley Fire District came together to keep this fire small and protect our community.

This is a great reminder; fire season is not over yet. Please know the fire restrictions in your area before recreating outdoors this holiday weekend. For additional information about the Oregon Department of Forestry, please visit us on Facebook @ODFSouthwest, at, or call/visit the Southwest Oregon District office nearest to you.

Ramsey Canyon Fire 08/31/18 Final Update

Incident Start Date: 8/22/2018
Incident Start Time: Approx. 12:45 p.m.
Incident Type: Wildfire
Cause: Under Investigation
Incident Location: near Sams Valley, Jackson County, Oregon
Land Threat: Private, BLM, Industrial
Command Agency: ODF
Fire Size: 1,971 acres
Containment: 95%

Current Situation:
NOTE: This will be the final update unless conditions change.

Crews will continue mop up efforts into the holiday weekend, with a focus on the north perimeter of the Ramsey Canyon fire. With 95 percent containment, personnel and equipment is being significantly scaled back.

Over the next few days, firefighters on the ground will be conducting fire suppression repair, such as erosion control, throughout the entire footprint of the fire. Crews are using handheld infrared scanners to search and detect heat along the perimeter of the fire in order to secure control lines and extinguish all hot spots.

Meteorologists are predicting temperatures in the 80’s through Sunday, with winds from the north and northwest close to 15 mph. Firefighters are prepared to catch any spot fires that might flare up, although the potential for spot fires remains quite low.

Crews are also facing potential hazards such as debris rollout, falling snags, and working on steep slopes covered in both standing and fallen timber. Safety of firefighters and the public is a top priority.

Residents are expected to continue returning back to their homes. All evacuations have been lowered to a Level 1 “Be Ready” by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. At the height of the incident, nearly 500 structures were threatened. Throughout the entire operation, only one abandoned outbuilding was lost.

As of 7:00 a.m, Friday morning, the Oregon Department of Forestry Type 1 Incident Management Team (Smith) has handed the Ramsey Canyon Fire back to the ODF Southwest Oregon District Type 3 Incident Management Team (Johnson). Any further questions can be directed to the District Office at (541) 664-3328.

Level 1 (Be Ready): East Evans Creek Road, 15500 through Meadows Road; West Fork Evans Creek Road, addresses of 18504 and 18508; Ramsey Rd., from the 11600-block through the intersection with Meadows Road; Meadows Road, from East Evans Creek Road, south to the address of 14765.

For additional information regarding evacuations, please contact the Jackson County Sheriff's Office - Oregon.

Assigned Resources:
Engines: 5
Water Tenders: 3
Helicopters: As needed
Hand Crews: 4
Dozers: As needed
Total Personnel: 132
Air Tankers: As needed

Cooperating Agencies:
Oregon Department of Forestry, BLM Oregon & Washington, Rogue Valley Fire Chiefs Association, Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

We would like to thank you all, our community and partners alike, for the support throughout the entirety of this incident.