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Fire near Applegate Lake fully lined, Medford fire quickly knocked down

A firefighter works the Bearswallow Ridge Fire burning west of Applegate Lake. The fire, which broke midday Thursday and grew to 32 acres by Friday, is now fully lined and partially contained. Oregon Department of Forestry photo.
The Bearswallow Ridge fire grew to 32 acres in one day

A wildfire that started midday Thursday in southwest Jackson County is fully contained and partially mopped up, and a Medford fire on the Bear Creek Greenway was knocked down Friday afternoon in a matter of minutes.

The Bearswallow Ridge fire west of Applegate Lake was fully lined Friday after growing to 32 acres, according to a release issued by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The ODF Southwest Oregon District’s detection center cameras first spotted the fire shortly before noon Thursday, and initially dispatched two engines to the fire burning in steep terrain.

Upon arrival, crews estimated the fire to be 2 acres and growing, and called for backup that included a bulldozer and a U.S. Forest Service fire engine.

The fire had spread to about 5 acres in the first 90 minutes of the firefight, and winds carried the wildfire to a footprint of more than 20 acres by 6 p.m. Thursday.

Crews worked the fire overnight, and got a line entirely around it Friday, according to ODF, and GPS mapping showed that the wildfire burned 32 acres.

As of an ODF update released shortly after 4 p.m. Friday, two crews totaling 30 firefighters had mopped up 30% of the fire.

Crews will stay on scene until the fire is entirely mopped up, according to ODF.

A Medford fire involving a homeless camp on the Bear Creek Greenway was knocked down in a matter of minutes Friday afternoon, according to Medford Fire Department Battalion Chief Jason John.

At 3:38 p.m. Friday, multiple callers spotted smoke on the Greenway near the Red Lobster and the Rogue Valley Mall and called 911, according to John and Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon reports.

Crews deployed their rapid response vehicle — which John described as a Polaris side-by-side equipped with a water tank and pump in the bed area, and knocked down the burning tents, trash and debris in a matter of minutes.

The fire sent up a plume of smoke from the Greenway that was visible from downtown Medford.

Reporter Nick Morgan can be reached at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.