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'Be Set' evacuation alert expands for South Obenchain fire

The Level 2 "Be Set" evacuation alert for the South Obenchain fire in northern Jackson County has expanded to surround the whole perimeter of the fire.

The areas around and including the towns of Shady Cove and Butte Falls and the area in between remains under a Level 3"Go" evacuation alert. The "Go" evacuation zone reaches Lost Creek Lake to the north, just south of Highway 140 to the south, west of Shady Cove to the west, and east of Butte Falls to the east.

The Level 2 "Be Set" evacuation zone borders the north and east side of Eagle Point, as well as the entire fire perimeter.

On Saturday morning, fire managers reported an infrared thermal heat imaging flight conducted over the night revealed the fire was at 29,432 acres. The fire is 20% contained.

For a map of current evacuation zones for wildfires in Jackson County, see jacksoncounty.org/evacuation.

For updates on the fire, visit facebook.com/SouthObenchainFire/.

Fire managers issued the following report about the status of the South Obenchain fire Saturday morning:

The overnight humidity recovery along with very little winds allowed firefighters to continue to make progress to construct and improve containment lines. Crews were able to tie lines together on the south and western portions of the fire. This area is in patrol and mop up status, however winds are expected to increase this afternoon which could test fire lines.

If the inversion of cloud cover lifts prior to the approaching cold front, aircraft might be able to assist crews on the ground. The northwest perimeter was tied together with a hand and dozer line.

Focus will be on the east and southeastern area of the fire, where the fire is moving into steep topography, which dozers cannot access. Two task forces of structural engines, with the Oregon State Fire Marshal, are working along the Butte Falls Highway and also the Shady Cove area triaging and providing point protection. Three additional crews and other resources arrived to join the suppression efforts.

Tonight, a night shift of firefighters will continue to construct, hold and improve all fire lines, and provide point protection to infrastructure.

Evacuees can go to the Jackson County Expo, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point, where there are bathrooms, showers, food and medical care and shelter.

Visit jacksoncounty.org/evacuation to view wildfire evacuation zones in Jackson County to be able to zoom in on specific areas.