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MEDFORD, Ore. --
UPDATE: The Panther Gultch Fire burning in the Applegate Valley is now 20% contained. It remains at 70 acres.
Crews will continue mop-up operations today, with a goal of moving 50 feet into the interior of the fire. Crews will also be taking down snags that could pose risks to firefighters. At least three helicopters are on the fire today and potentially one more, if available.
There are no evacuations or road closures near this fire. Investigators will continue to look into the cause today.
(Updated 8/1/19 8:13 a.m.)
UPDATE: The Panther Gulch Fire burning in the Applegate Valley is now 100 percent lined. The Oregon Department of Forestry estimates the fire to be around 70 acres, they say the steep terrain has made walking the perimeter difficult for crews.
The fire is 15 percent contained this morning.
Last night four crews, four engines, one water tender and one bulldozer took over. ODF says safety was a top priority last night; hazards include snags, rolling logs, and steep terrain.
Firefighters are tasked with finishing laying hose throughout the fire, before beginning mop-up. When those operations begin, crews will begin by moving in 25 feet from the perimeter, extinguishing hot spots as they work inward.
Investigators were on scene yesterday, working to determine the cause of the fire. At this time, it is still under investigation. No evacuations or road closures have been made.
(Updated 8/1/19 3:30 a.m.)
UPDATE: Fire officials say the Panther Gulch Fire in the Applegate Valley is larger than originally estimated — now 70 acres — but fire crews have made progress throughout the day.
The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) said that crews have gotten lines around the entirety of the fire area, with containment at 15 percent.
"Firefighters will continue to further that progress this afternoon and overnight," ODF said.
The agency said that there would be more information available following a briefing at 6 p.m.
(Updated 7/31/19 at 4:22 p.m.)
UPDATE: The Panther Gulch Fire is now at 50 acres with no word on containment. The Oregon Department of Forestry says that the main goal on Wednesday is to hold the lines that were built overnight.
Officials say the steep terrain and snags in the area have been challenging for firefighters. They also say the potential for rolling logs has posed a risk as well.
Air attacks on the fire will continue with four helicopters, one fixed-wing craft, one air attack plane and five single-engine air tankers.
No evacuations or road closures are in place at this time.
The cause of this fire remains under investigation.
(Updated 7/31/19 at 8 a.m.)
UPDATE: The Panther Gulch Fire burning in the Applegate Valley is now at 25 acres.
The fire is burning in a secluded area. Air attacks stopped overnight while ground crews continued to work throughout the night. Air attacks will continue again this morning.
ODF is asking people to stay out of the area for their safety as well as the firefighters' safety.
(Updated 7/31 3:57a.m.)
INITIAL REPORT: Crews are arriving to a fire in the Panther Gulch area of the Applegate Valley.
It’s estimated by air crews to be seven (7) acres.
Firefighters are beginning an aggressive initial attack and are being assisted by partner agencies. At this time, 4 dozers, four 20 person hand crews along with type 1 helicopters from the Milepost 97 Fire, in addition to our local ODF resources, are on scene or en route to the fire.
The cause is under investigation. No evacuations or road closures have been made at this time. Updates will posted as they become available. We’re asking all public to avoid the area, as there is limited access and we want to keep our firefighters assigned to the fire safe.