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Central Point fire burns outbuilding

Firefighters aided by two helicopters fought back a fire that burned within 100 yards of massive piles of bark, shavings and sawdust at a landscape supply center.

The Sunday afternoon fire consumed 4 to 5 acres of dry grass and weeds as well as an outbuilding off Merita Terrace north of Central Point. 

The fire was reported at 3:48 p.m. and was in a field near homes and Hilton Landscape Supply, one of Southern Oregon's largest landscaping materials suppliers. The business is home to piles of wood products, topsoil, mulch and rock.

"Due to the quick response, they were able to get it out quickly," said Oregon Department of Forestry Public Information Officer Melissa Cano.

Approximately 30 firefighters from ODF and Jackson County Fire District No. 3 attacked the fire, she said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.

"They'll be investigating once they do mop up and make sure nothing else is sparking up. There are still some flames in the interior," Cano said at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Two helicopters aided in the initial attack, and one stayed on, dumping buckets of water as firefighters on the ground continued to hose the smoking fire area. 

A water truck sprayed water along Merita Terrace, which runs between the fire site and Hilton Landscape Supply. It also sprayed down piles of wood products nearest the road. 

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.