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Fire near Pinehurst was from an escaped burn pile

I saw that a burn pile that escaped had caused a fire near Rogue River April 6, but I never saw a cause for a fire near Ashland that happened the same day. Do they know the cause yet?

The fire that you are referring to, which was in the 15000 block of Highway 66, about two miles of west of Pinehurst, was also caused by a burn pile that got out of control, Oregon Department of Forestry officials confirmed.

ODF crews joined the Greensprings Rural Fire District to put that fire out. They were able to use a road as a “natural line” around the fire, and firefighters closed the loop off with hand lines. They contained the fire at two acres.

Later that evening, multiple crews also responded to a brush fire in the 3700 block of Wards Creek Road, northeast of Rogue River. That fire grew to about eight acres and set off several spot fires crews had to contend with. As you stated correctly, crews later confirmed it was started by of a burn pile.

ODF public information officer Natalie Weber said ODF has seen a notable uptick in escaped burn piles recently, spurred by dry conditions and wind. Last week, ODF crews responded to nine such incidents, either as the primary agency or offering mutual aid to another department.

Officials urged people to help reduce the risk of future incidents by burning only on burn days, and consider putting the work off if the weather is dry and sunny. Have the proper permits, a water source at the ready, and never leave the pile unattended. Once it’s finished, extinguish the remains with water and dirt until you can’t feel any heat.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501 or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.