Cleveland Ridge Fire Grows to 574 Acres

A force of more than 200 firefighters worked throughout the day to relocate fire lines on the northeast and southeast flanks of the Cleveland Ridge Fire, burning on private and Bureau of Land Management forestlands north/northwest of Shady Cove. The fire grew along these flanks today but a wide bulldozer-constructed fire line along the spine of Cleveland Ridge held as the fire reached the ridgetop.

The fire has reached 574 acres in size and fire line has been completed around 80 percent of the fire.

The night shift crews, comprised of approximately 150 firefighters, will work to complete the fire line on the north flank and hold established fire lines around the rest of the perimeter.

Residents on Taylor Rd. and the West Fork of Trail Creek Rd. remain under a Level 2 (Set) Evacuation Level, which into effect at 8:00 a.m. today. Residents along Hwy. 227 from the junction with the West Fork of Trail Creek Rd. to address 6481 were also placed under the Level 2 alert. More than 40 structures are within the evacuation alert area.

A structural protection strike team stood by today to protect homes and other structures in the event the wildfire posed a threat. The team is assembled from engines and personnel from fire districts in Jackson and Josephine counties. They will remain in place throughout tonight.

Helicopters with water buckets flew throughout the day to cool spot fires and hot spots along the fire lines. (One of the helicopters made 105 bucket drops.) Air tankers made numerous retardant drops in areas where the fire either crossed or threaten to cross fire lines.

Much of the increased acreage today was due to the fire burning a large tract of forestland west of Cleveland Ridge. This area contains many steep, rocky bluffs and other rugged terrain that was too dangerous for firefighters to work in.

The fire was reported at 4:01 p.m. Monday, and its cause is under investigation.