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Fire outside Jacksonville torches more than four acres, destroys outbuilding

A fire that likely was sparked by a transformer malfunction destroyed an outbuilding and burned more than 4 acres south of Jacksonville Tuesday afternoon, but firefighters were able to save the home on the property. 

Fire crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry, Applegate Valley Fire District 9 and the U.S. Forest Service responded to the blaze at 2345 Sterling Creek Road at 2:15 p.m., ODF officials said. When firefighters arrived, they found an outbuilding engulfed by flames, with fire spreading across the property.

"It actually spread at a pretty slow rate," said ODF public information officer Melissa Cano.

She added that the area had an abundance of high, knee-deep brush. That and belongings scattered across the property, including car parts and tools, helped spur the flames on.

"It caused it to spread a little further than it would have if it were just brush," Cano said.

Agencies responded with more than 10 engines and water tenders, along with two helicopters for bucket drops. A surveillance plane flew overhead, looking for additional hot spots from the air.

Firefighters had the blaze lined in about an hour and had the flames extinguished in about two hours. Crews stayed on scene for about five more hours, monitoring to make sure no hot spots appeared.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.