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Collings Mountain Fire fully lined at 9 acres

ODF photo ODF crews faced steep terrain, falling trees, rolling rocks and other hazards as they worked to suppress the Collings Mountain fire near Applegate Lake.

Oregon Department of Forestry crews have fully wrangled a wildfire that broke earlier this week in a remote area east of Applegate Lake, but difficult terrain continues to slow down mop-up work.

As of Friday afternoon, ODF Southwest Oregon District spokeswoman Natalie Weber said crews were making “continued steady progress” on the Collings Mountain fire burning 1.5 miles west of Applegate Lake.

“It’s been extremely difficult due to this super steep terrain,” Weber said, describing falling trees and hazardous boulders in the area, along with wildlife hazards such as rattlesnakes.

“It’s just due to everything that we’re up against.”

GPS mapping calculated the fire’s footprint at nine acres. As of 9 p.m. Thursday evening, ODF estimated the mop-up as 65% complete. An updated percentage was not immediately available Friday afternoon because the incident commander on the firefight was outside cell range.

Three 20-person hand crews were assigned to the firefight Friday, aided by two type 6 engines, four water tenders and a tree faller. The first of ODF’s aircraft for the fire season, a type 2 initial attack helicopter, was stationed at the Grants Pass airport Friday ready to respond to calls.

Rolling debris was a challenge during Thursday’s day shift firefight, according to Weber. It caused a breach in the fireline and a new quarter-acre spot fire. Overnight Thursday into Friday, two 20-person hand crews worked overnight with two type 6 fire engines, a water tender and ODF overhead personnel.