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Crews battle fast-spreading wildfire east of Ashland

The Oregon Department of Forestry is fighting a roughly 350 acre wildfire in the area of Dead Indian Memorial Road and Keno Access Road about 20 miles east of Ashland.

The Grizzly Creek fire was first spotted at about 2:25 p.m. Friday about a mile north of Howard Prairie Lake, according to Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District Public Affairs Officer Kyle Novy-Riley.

By shortly after 4 p.m., the fire had grown to an estimated 150 acres, and as of 6:12 p.m. ODF estimated the blaze to be between 300 and 350 acres.

Air and ground resources battled the wildfire during daylight hours, and ground crews are working the fire overnight, according to an ODF press release.

Novy-Riley said the cause of the fire is currently unknown.

The wildfire prompted road closures and evacuation warnings in the area of Dead Indian Memorial and Hyatt Prairie roads, according to a Jackson County Roads and Parks release issued shortly before 5 p.m. Friday.

ODF ordered Level 2 “Be Set” evacuations for all existing campers at campgrounds near Howard Prairie Lake, according to the county. Upcoming campground reservations in the area were canceled, and the county was contacting campers with reservations who had not yet arrived and notifying them not to travel to the parks.

Lily Glen equestrian park was evacuated.

A post on the Vesper Meadow Facebook page late Friday afternoon said the fire appeared to be about three miles away and moving southeast.

Jackson County Roads crews closed eastbound Dead Indian Memorial Road traffic at the Hyatt Prairie Road junction, and westbound traffic was halted near the Forest Service Road 37 junction.

The county urges the public to avoid the area and suggests that travelers use alternate routes because the road will be closed until further notice.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon crews orchestrate the firefight at the Grizzly Creek fire burning about 20 miles east of Ashland Friday evening. Megan Willgoos / KTVL News 10 photo.
This photo, downloaded from the Vesper Meadow Facebook page, shows the Grizzly Creek fire burning Friday in the area of Dead Indian Memorial Road and Keno Access Road.