Firefighters halted the I-5 Milepost 54 Fire burning near Grants Pass at approximatey 20 acres around 5:30 p.m. this afternoon. The initial report came in just after 2:30 p.m. with an estimated size of one-acre. Within minutes, the fire began spreading and spotting upslope in the direction of a dozen homes. While the homes were initially threatened by the fire, no homes were lost or damaged by this incident. Resources from multiple agencies were able to attack the fire both on the ground and in the air, and get a fire line around the perimeter a couple hours later. The steep slopes and difficult access off of the freeway posed a challenge for all crews; however, they were able to make progress quite quickly. The current fire size is still an estimate, and accurate mapping will take place overnight.
Several firefighters will be strengthening control lines and mopping up overnight in order to reach full containment. Fire investigators are currently looking into the cause of this fire, as well as the 1/10th of an acre fire which was knocked down quickly near I-5 MP 51. Please use caution when driving through this area for the remainder of the night as fire traffic will still be present.
This fire is a true testament of our aggressive and safe initial attack. Every single partner’s collaboration during this incident lead to this afternoon’s success. Crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District, Applegate Valley Fire District, Rural Metro Fire Josephine County, Grants Pass Fire/Rescue, Evans Valley Fire District, Rogue River Fire, and Illinois Valley Fire District came together to keep this fire small and protect our community.
This is a great reminder; fire season is not over yet. Please know the fire restrictions in your area before recreating outdoors this holiday weekend. For additional information about the Oregon Department of Forestry, please visit us on Facebook @ODFSouthwest, at www.swofire.com, or call/visit the Southwest Oregon District office nearest to you.