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Wildfire near Gold Hill grows to 40 acres

Oregon Department of Forestry and Jackson County Fire District No. 3 crews are fighting a grass fire estimated at five acres as of Saturday evening. ODF Southwest Oregon District photo.

Oregon Department of Forestry and Jackson County Fire District No. 3 crews are working to put out a pair of grass fires generating plumes of smoke near Gold Hill.

The wildfire visible from Interstate 5 was first reported at 4:30 p.m. Saturday near milepost 48, according to Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon records.

Within about 20 minutes, firefighters estimated the fire burning on North River Road near the freeway at one acre. ODF Southwest Oregon District called in multiple ODF fire engines and a Type 2 helicopter.

By 5:34 p.m., the North River Road fire had spotted into two fires that grew to an estimated five acres combined, according to an updated ODF Facebook post. The fire is “growing up the slop in the wind.” ODF called in more resources that include extra fire crews, multiple Type 2 helicopters, a Type 1 helicopter and an air attack platform.

No evacuations are in place as of Saturday evening, but North River Road is closed to regular traffic near the 4300 block.

As of 7:40 p.m., the fire had grown to 40 acres and considered 20 percent lined, according to ODF. Crews were holding the line despite winds, dense brush, steep terrain and limited access to the fire.

ODF has ordered added firefighting resources, and is being assisted by resources that include Medford Fire Department, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service resources, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Grants Pass Fire Rescue, Rural Metro Fire - Josephine County, Rogue River Fire District and Rogue River police.