Update, 7:15 p.m.: Late afternoon wind gusts whipped the Worthington fire east of Eagle Point up to 100 acres, Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Brian Ballou said.
“There was a 30-acre jump somewhere around 6 o'clock, but it's calmed down since then,” Ballou said.
More than 50 firefighters are attempting to contain the blaze along with nine engines, two bulldozers, water tenders and a medium-lift helicopter that alternated dropping water and scouting hot spots.
“The lower end is pretty well burned out, but the upper end, on the north side, is fairly active,” Ballou said.
A night crew was due to take over in a couple of hours.
“They've got a lot of work ahead of them,” Ballou said. “Down low, it's primarily grass, brush and oak trees. But up higher there's ponderosa pines mixed with oak. There is more debris, fallen trees and branches up there, so it's burning hotter.”
The terrain is not real steep, aiding firefighting efforts.
“It's not terribly bad country to be fighting fire in,” he said. “It looks like we won't get any more real wind.
“But until sundown, anything is possible.”
Updated, 3:50 p.m.: The Worthington fire burning east of Eagle Point is now estimated at 40 to 45 acres, Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Brian Ballou said.
It is burning in heavy brush and grass on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land, which ODF is contracted to protect, Ballou said.
Six ODF engines, two bulldozers, water tenders from Jackson County Fire District No. 3 and Lake Creek Rural Fire Department and a helicopter are fighting the fire, which is off Worthington Road about two miles east of Eagle Point. Ballou said it is human-caused and the point of origin has been determined, but the investigation is continuing.
Ballou said the fire is not currently threatening structures. The far edge is about three miles from Obenchain Road, where the nearest homes are, he said.
“We don't anticipate any problems with it unless we get wind,” Ballou said. “It's breezy but not causing us any problems” at the moment, he added.
The fire is sending smoke that can be seen from at least as far as White City, he said.
3 p.m.: A five-acre fire is burning in brush and grass northeast of Eagle Point off Worthington Road, according to Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Brian Ballou.
At least four ODF engines and crews from Jackson County Fire District No. 3 are fighting the fire, Ballou said. A helicopter has been ordered to start dumping buckets of water on the fire, and bulldozers from Medford and Grants Pass have been called into action, he said.