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Grants Pass railroad fire under investigation

Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of a large early morning blaze within Grants Pass city limits that sent a column of smoke visible across the city for hours.

A fire along the railroad tracks was first reported shortly after 6 a.m. Saturday in the 2000 block of Northeast F Street, according to a release issued by the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.

Grants Pass Fire Rescue crews were first on scene and found a “large pile of railroad ties” that had caught fire for an as-yet unknown reason, according to the release.

Crews worked to prevent the fire from spreading to a nearby field located near the Oregon Youth Authority youth correctional facility, but mopping up hot spots with “very large timbers” was a challenge, the release stated. Smoke was visible into Saturday afternoon during what the fire department described to be a “difficult mop-up.”

It took a Grants Pass City Streets Department backhoe and excavator crews to help move the burning pile of wooden railroad ties, plus assistance from Rural Metro Fire.

Grants Pass Fire Rescue asks anyone with information about the fire to contact them at 541-450-6200.

Grants Pass Fire Rescue crews fight a burning pile of railroad ties within city limits Saturday morning. Grants Pass Department of Public Safety photo.
A Grants Pass Fire Rescue firefighter works to extinguish a burning pile of railroad ties in the 2000 block of Northeast F Street early Saturday morning. Grants Pass Department of Public Safety photo.