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Wildfire in northwestern Jackson County burns seven acres

A wildfire about eight miles west of Shady Cove has spread to seven acres in the course of an hour, the Oregon Department of Forestry reports.

Fire prevention specialist Brian Ballou said one bulldozer and about 15 firefighters are at a fire burning through green logging slash on Horse Mountain, about eight miles from Shady Cove in northwestern Jackson County.

A second bulldozer is on the way, and a 20-man crew has been ordered in anticipation that firefighters will be working most of the night, Ballou said. A water tender is on site, and crews are currently working on fire lines, but the remote location of the fire will make eradicating the wildfire a challenge.

"It's not the kind of location they can drive trucks to," Ballou said.

Ballou is unsure of the fire's cause, but it started near the top of the mountain and is spreading down the northeast slope. Normally vegetation on the northeast slope of hills and mountains are last to dry out because they receive the least sun.

"It's a little unusual to have one (a wildfire) on the northeast slope," Ballou said. "Obviously it can happen."

Wildfires usually don't break until mid- to late May, according to Ballou.

"This is a little bit early for us," Ballou said. "We've had a pretty good warm stretch of weather, so we've been keeping our eyes open."

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.