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ODF responds to six fires Wednesday

Oregon Department of Forestry crews work on a fire on Cady Road in the Applegate Wednesday, one of six the agency responded to that day.
Four fires were in Jackson County, two in Josephine County

The Oregon Department of Forestry kept busy Wednesday, with engines rolling out to six fires in Jackson and Josephine counties over the course of about seven hours.

As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, most of the fires had been fully lined, with mop-up work either completed or in process, according to ODF spokesperson Natalie Weber. The largest of the fires grew to 2 acres, but none of the others exceeded a quarter-acre.

Cews from the Applegate Valley Fire District, Jacksonville Fire Department, Jackson County Fire District No. 3, Prospect Rural Fire Protection and Butte Falls Volunteer Fire & Rescue joined ODF on the various blazes throughout the day.

The afternoon was particularly busy, Weber said.

“I think it was about 2:45 (p.m.) on that crews were extremely busy just going from fire to fire at that point,” she said. “It’s that time in the season where we don’t have all of our resources on, and we can get stretched thin. However, that’s when we really lean on our structural partner agencies like the ones that responded alongside with us yesterday. And that makes all the difference.”

The first fire was the smallest, located near the 2400 block of Little Applegate Road, outside Ruch. Crews responded to the blaze just before 10 a.m. and contained it at one-hundredth of an acre.

The second and third fires popped up in Josephine County. Crews responded to the second blaze, in the 100 block of Scott Drive, outside Murphy, at 12:30 p.m. The third fire, in the 2600 block of Fish Hatchery Road, was reported just before 3 p.m. Crews contained both at about one-tenth of an acre.

Firefighters responded to the fourth and largest fire of the bunch, a 2-acre blaze in the 1700 block of Cady Road, southwest of Jacksonville, at 2:51 p.m., according to 911 dispatch records.

Jackson County crews pounced on the fifth fire at 3:20 p.m., in the 1000 block of Red Blanket Road, northeast of Prospect. The fire grew to one-tenth of an acre by the time crews contained it.

Crews flocked to the final fire, in the 2100 block of Crowfoot Road, east of Shady Cove, at 4:30 p.m. They contained it at one-quarter of an acre.

The cause of the fires remained under investigation Thursday.

Fire season in southwest Oregon won’t be called just yet, Weber said.

“At this point, we’re still holding out a little bit,” Weber said. “We’ll just have to see how the conditions go, if we’re going to continue to see these warmer temperatures. Especially if there’s wind in the forecast. That could definitely mean an early fire season, but we’re just not at that point yet.”

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanpfeil.