ashland.news
July 14, 2024

Salt Creek Fire east of Eagle Point still at 1,500 acres, crews have it 60% lined as of Monday evening

Eagle Point resident Zachary Chapa captured this photo of the Salt Creek Fire off Highway 140 from near the Eagle Point National Cemetery on Sunday. Zachary Chapa photo via the Rogue Valley Times
July 7, 2024

Level 1 evacuation notices still in effect for residences in the Lake Creek area, about 19 miles north of Ashland

Rogue Valley Times staff report

Fire crews have created containment lines around roughly 60% of the Salt Creek Fire, which sparked late Sunday afternoon off Highway 140 and is still estimated at about 1,500 acres, according to a Monday night update from the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District.

“An overnight infrared flight has been ordered and will likely be able to give a more accurate size of the fire in the morning,” the post said.

ODF firefighters head toward the Salt Creek Fire. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office photo

As of Monday night, 290 personnel are assigned to the incident, including eight 20-person crews, 14 engines, nine bulldozers, seven water tender and five task force leaders, the newest post said.

As of 6 p.m. Monday, ODF Incident Management Team 1 has taken command of the Salt Creek Fire, according to fire officials.

First reported at 4 p.m. Sunday, the fire grew from a few acres to hundreds of acres in a couple of hours aided by “hot, dry and windy conditions,” ODF said.

Overnight, firefighters used dozers and hand tools to line the southwest boundary and full northern boundary of the fire, which is burning through an area of steep slopes and dry vegetation on private and U.S. Bureau of Land Management land, ODF said.

Smoke from a fire north of Ashland Sunday evening rises over the ridgeline. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini

Level 1 (“be ready”) evacuations have been ordered some areas north of Lakecreek and east of Brownsboro, about 9 miles east of Eagle Point and 19 miles north of Ashland.

Rogue Valley Emergency Management reported the “be ready” evacuation notice applied in four areas: JAC-316, 317, 319 and 321. Evacuation zones can be found at Genasys Protect.

The zones are north of Highway 140 approximately 12 miles east of Eagle Point in the Lake Creek area, east of Salt Creek Road, North of Highway 140, south and west of Fish Lake Road, including the Willow Lake area, the earlier post said.

Salt Creek Road and Wasson Canyon Road are closed at Highway 140, ODF said, and Double Day Road is closed off at Butte Falls Highway. Highway 140 and Butte Falls Highway remain open, but officials urge residents to stay clear of crews working in the fire zone.

The fire danger level in the Southwest Oregon District moved to “extreme” at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Flames burn on both sides of a road in the Salt Creek Fire area. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office photo

This is a developing story and will be updated as warranted.

This story first appeared in the Rogue Valley Times. It has been updated by Ashland.news.

Updated: 7:07, 7:23 and 8:27 p.m. Sunday; 12:50 p.m. Monday; 12:15 a.m. Tuesday

A map pin marks the approximate location of the Salt Creek Fire burning about 19 miles north of Ashland and 9 miles east of Eagle Point.
A Jackson County emergency information map shows evacuation areas as of a little before 7 p.m. Sunday for areas near the Salt Creek Fire. Lake of the Woods is at lower right; Eagle Point is at left center.
Smoke billows from the Salt Creek Fire on Sunday afternoon. ODF-SWOD photo
Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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