Applegate fire quickly extinguished

A 1-acre grass fire spotted by Capt. Greg Gilbert of Fire District No. 9 was brought under control within a half-hour Sunday afternoon in the Applegate after threatening a home and a boat.

The blaze, which torched trees and grass, came within 100 feet of a home at 260 Twin Oaks Road, which is west of Ruch and north of Cantrall-Buckley Park.

"I was just going to the store when I spotted it," Gilbert said. He called the fire in, and firefighters were called out at 5:36 p.m., he said.

Just after Gilbert made the call, the homeowner on Twin Oaks also called the fire in.

By the time fire crews arrived, the blaze had touched off about a third of an acre.

"Then the winds really started out there," he said. "We corralled it at about 1.3 (acres)."

The fire could have been much worse because the area is hilly with steep canyons.

Fire District No. 9 had five engines on the scene and three water tenders. The Oregon Department of Forestry brought in another five engines and a bulldozer, along with two helicopters that dropped buckets of water.

Gilbert said structures in the area were definitely threatened, and the fire was close to taking out a small boat.

The homeowner on Twin Oaks had good defensible space around his house, although there was plenty of dry grass close by, Gilbert said.

He said the homeowner didn't need to hose down his house because fire crews had the blaze under control fairly quickly.

The cause of the blaze still is under investigation, but Gilbert said it likely started close to the Twin Oaks property.

Firemen continued mop-up operations into the night, cutting down trees to make sure the hot spots were extinguished.

"They'll be out there until midnight," Gilbert said.

Fire agencies will be on high alert in the coming weeks because the fire danger is listed as "extreme."

Reach Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com.


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