East Evans Fire: 155 acres, 27% contained

300-acre fire on East Evans Creek Road, evacuations in effect. (Courtesy: ODF Southwest)

UPDATE: (Monday August 5, 5:22 p.m.)

The East Evans Fire is now up to 27% containment as of Monday, according to ODF. GPS mapping of the burn area shows that the fire is actually 155 acres - almost half the size than originally estimated.

The investigation into the cause of the fire has been handed over to the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office and Oregon State Police.

The fire was originally reported as a structure fire on Friday afternoon. Crews arrived on scene to find a burning structure and a 5-acre grass fire. With hot temperatures and wind, the blaze quickly spread. ODF launched an aggressive attack.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office initially made 11 Level 3 evacuations, and 18 Level 1 evacuation. Those are still in place today.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

UPDATE: (Sunday August 4, 2:00 p.m.) - According to ODF, crews are continuing to make progress on the 'East Evans Fire'.

The fire is still at 0% containment and remains around 300 acres.

Mop-ups will continue today but snags have become a significant risk to firefighter safety and clearing hazards will be one of their top priorities. Crews will also be looking out for spot fires that could be carried out by possible windy conditions.

ODF said that high temperatures and possible thunderstorms are an expected added challenge for today.

The evacuations made by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office still remain in place.

UPDATE: (Saturday August 3, 9:30 p.m.) - The 'East Evans Fire' is now 100% lined but still at 0% containment.

According to ODF, the mop-up operations will continue on through the evening. The fire still remains at an estimated 300 acres.

The winds did not impact fire activity but ODF said that crews are still keeping the conditions in mind while working on the fire tonight.

The aircraft continued water drops until the sun set.

At this time, evacuations made by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office still stands.

UPDATE: (Saturday August 3, 2:30 p.m.) - Crews on the 'East Evans Fire' were able to make progress overnight and have completed approximately 70% of the fire line.

According to ODF, more than 200 personnel will be working on completing the fire line and strengthening the perimeter.

Overnight, one firefighter was injured on the northeast side of the fire and was transported by air to a local hospital.

ODF also mentions that the wind and high temperatures will be added challenges this afternoon. However, different resources will be on the fire today including 10 20-man crews, 10 engines, four tree fallers, four bulldozers and six water tenders. Additionally, helicopters available are five type ones, two type twos and one type three, which will be making water drops throughout the day.

UPDATE (8 p.m.) - The 'East Evans Fire' burning in Sams Valley is estimated to be roughly 300 acres with 10% of the perimeter lined within the first five hours.

According to ODF, the East Evans Fire was reported to dispatch as a structure fire at approximately 2 p.m. Friday afternoon in the 18000 block of East Evans Creek Road. ODF detection cameras located a thick smoke column, prompting a block response. Eight engines, four helicopters, five SEATs, two LATs, and an air attack plane began an aggressive initial attack; however, fire activity escalated quickly; by 5 p.m., the fire grew to approximately 300 acres.

By 7 p.m., repeated retardant drops assisted in stopping the initial spread of the fire, creating a temporary fire line. Additional resources including a Rogue Valley Strike Team, one VLAT, another two helicopters, and a helitack unit were also called out. Six engines, eight 20-person hand crews, seven bulldozers, two water tenders will continue to aggressively fight the fire overnight.

The fire is burning away from houses, however some evacuations have been made by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies gave an immediate evacuation notice (LEVEL 3) to 11 residences in the area. Deputies also made door-to-door LEVEL 1 evacuation notices to 18 residences in the area of East Evans Creek Road between the 18500-block and Meadows Road (north side of the roadway).

At this time, a Red Cross Shelter has not been set up. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

UPDATE: 6:32 p.m.

The East Evans Creek Road Fire is now estimated to be 250-300 acres. Evening crews will continue an aggressive attack on the fire, according to ODF on Friday evening.

UPDATE: 4:49 p.m.

Five homes have been notified of an immediate evacuation, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, due to the fire on East Evans Creek Road. The affected residences are in the area of E. Evans Creek Road, between the 18500-block and Meadows Road (north side of the roadway).

Deputies are making door-to-door Level 1 evacuation notices in the area.

The Sheriff's Offices notes that the fire appears to be burning away from the structures at this time, however, ODF says that the fire has grown to 250 acres.

UPDATE: 4:21 p.m.

The fire on East Evans Creek Road is now estimated to cover 160 acres, according to ODF.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is also on scene to assess potential evacuations.

UPDATE: 4:08 p.m.

Jackson County Roads has closed East Evans Creek Road between Meadows Road and May Creek Road - a nearly 10-mile stretch of roadway.

ORIGINAL: 3:06 p.m.

Firefighters are responding to a new blaze on East Evans Creek Road, north of Gold Hill, Friday afternoon.

It is estimated to be five acres with a "fully involved structure," according to the Oregon Department of Forestry, Southwest District.

A number of resources have been allocated to this new fire for an aggressive attack, including eight engines, four helicopters, five Single Engine Air Tankers, two Large Air Tankers, and an air attack plane.

Current views of the smoke plume can be seen from News 10's sky cams - both the Tower Cam and the Jackson County Expo Cam.

No evacuations or road closures are in place at this time. The cause of this fire is currently unknown.

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