Crews working to contain fire near Gold Hill

Nugget Fire near Gold Hill. (Gayle Dixon)

Fire crews work to contain Nugget Fire burning on Nugget Butte near communication towers near Gold Hill.

The Oregon Department of Forestry says, the fire is estimated to be about 5 to 10 acres.

Fire crews from ODF Southwest District are responding on ground and in the air along with Rogue River Fire.

Firefighters are working on getting a line around the fire and an accurate mapping.

The fire is said to be started by lighting.

Access to the Nugget Fire is limited to one road. ODF has been fighting the fire with multiple helicopters dipping out of the Rogue River. Where the Nugget Fire burns is familiar territory during fire season.

"This landscape is just a fire-scar of history," ODF's Wildland Supervisor Bill Smith said.

Those scars provide benefits and drawbacks. Fires move faster in the area each time a new one sparks.

"It's a double-edged sword," Smith said. "It clears out a lot of the heavier fuels and maybe prevents ... radiant and conductive heat starting fires on the outskirts and spot fires and such, but what it does do is that it allows lighter fuels to move back in."

Those lighter fuels help a fire move quickly. The Nugget Fire started overnight and crews arrived early Friday morning. Residents at the bottom of the mountain had mixed responses about the fires. Some were fearful for their livestock and land, while others didn't sweat at all.

"There wasn't much fire, but they were on top of it, so I had no issues," Gina Wills said. "I figured they're going to take care of it. That's their job. I have total faith in their abilities."

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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