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Wildfire roundup: Ramsey Canyon fire grows as crews fortify lines

A wildfire threatening close to 500 structures northwest of Eagle Point grew by more than 500 acres overnight, but fire officials say the growth was part of efforts to move the fire within control lines.

Fire officials attribute burnout operations at the northwest corner of the fire near where structures are threatened as the bulk of the Ramsey Canyon Fire’s growth, according to Inciweb reports. As of Saturday morning the fire had grown to 1,861 acres with 17 percent containment.

Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 2 commander Joe Hessel called operations Friday a “pivotal day,” taking advantage of cooler temperatures overnight to help crews move the fire to control lines just behind structures along East Evans Creek Road.

The fire thus far has destroyed one structure, according to Inciweb, described as an outbuilding that burned shortly after the fire roared to life early Wednesday afternoon. Another 498 structures are threatened, according to Inciweb.

The fire’s cause remains unclear. The Saturday morning report lists the cause as “under investigation,” while the fire’s main page on Inciweb lists the fire as “human caused.”

Evacuations include:

Level 3 “Go”: beginning at 17935, and continuing east including addresses 18505, 18509 (all accessed off of West Fork Evans Creek Road), then continuing to include 19373 at the intersection of Meadows Road; West Fork Evans Creek Road, the addresses 18504 and 18508; Ramsey Road, beginning at 13469 and proceeding north to include 13001 and 14738 (accessed off of BLM 35-2-20) and continuing to the Meadows Road intersection; Meadows Road, proceeding south from East Evans to include 16880.

Level 2 “Be Set”: East Evans Creek Road, beginning at the address 15513 and ending at 16995, and beginning at the address of 19395 and continuing to include the address of 21043 East Evans Creek Road; Meadows Road beginning at 16800 and 16821, then proceeding south to include the address 14765; Ramsey Road, beginning at 13465 and proceeding south to include 11655.

Crews from the Oregon State Fire Marshal are aiding wildland crews to protect structures in the area. A total of 795 personnel are working the fire, including 45 engines, 12 water tenders, at least 8 helicopters, 21 hand crews, nine dozers and air tankers as needed.

Other area wildfires:

Taylor Creek Fire: The wildfire that started west of Grants Pass is at 52,825 acres with 95 percent containment, according to Inciweb. Crews totaling 356 personnel are working the fire, and a community meeting is set for 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Agness community library, at 3905 Cougar Lane, Agness.

Klondike: The wildfire burning northwest of Selma was at 82,015 acres and 39 percent contained as of Saturday morning, according to fire officials. Crews totaling 1,262 personnel are working the fire.

Natchez: The fire burning between Cave Junction and Happy Camp, California, was at 24,224 acres and 70 percent contained as of Saturday morning, according to Inciweb. Crews totaling 450 personnel are working the fire.

Miles: The fire complex burning adjacent to the Columbus fire near Prospect and Shady Cove was at 35,574 acres and 54 percent contained.

Columbus: The fire, which has merged with the Miles complex at points, was at 10,186 acres and 55 percent contained. Crews totaling 689 personnel are working the combined Columbus and Miles complexes.

A night crew works the Klondike fire complex Friday. Inciweb photo.