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DOG FORK, Ore. —
UPDATE: On Thursday morning, RRSNF updated the size of the Hendrix Fire to 717 acres after a heat-detecting infrared flight overnight. They report that the fire growth was primarily to the southeast of the fire, where spot fires were able to spread.
The Hendrix Fire currently remains 5 percent contained. Evacuation orders and warnings remain in place for some addresses close to the fire's northern edge (click here for full details).
(Updated as of 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 19)
UPDATE: According to the most recent information from RRSNF, the Hendrix Fire now covers at least 550 acres. There are 223 personnel assigned to the fire at this time.
RRSNF estimated that the Hendrix Fire lies just three miles southwest of Ashland—however, the significantly smaller Watershed Fire is considered a part of the same firefight, and is considerably closer to Ashland than the primary Hendrix Fire—possibly meaning that the bulk of the primary Hendrix Fire is much farther from Ashland.
(Updated as of 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 18)
UPDATE: The Hendrix Fire ballooned in size on Tuesday—growing from an estimated 170 acres on Monday to about 400 acres on Tuesday. Visible pillars of smoke rose from the hills southwest of Ashland, visible from Medford.
RRSNF says that there is no immediate danger to any homes or hiking trails, including the Pacific Crest Trail.
Firefighters are actively engaged in firefighting efforts, trying to put the fire out as quickly and safely as possible. Helicopters continue to make water bucket drops, RRSNF said.
(Updated as of 6:50 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17)
UPDATE: The Hendrix Fire near Wagner Gap now covers 170 acres, according to the latest estimate from RRSNF. That count is precisely double what forestry officials had estimated little more than five hours earlier, at 10 a.m. Monday morning.
Currently assigned to the fire is one hotshot crew and two Type 2 Initial Attack crews. RRSNF have ordered air tankers, one heavy helicopter, dozers, engines and additional fire crews.
RRSNF says that a Type 2 Incident Management team is set to arrive Monday evening to assume command of the fire. Updates will be posted to the RRSNF Facebook page for the Hendrix fire.
Also visible in the area is the Watershed Fire, at the south end of the Ashland watershed. However, that fire is little more than 3-5 acres in size, and is currently staffed with rappellers, smokejumpers, one engine, and a Type 2 helicopter. An additional 20-person hand crew is on order.
(Updated as of 3:45 p.m. on Monday, July 16)
INITIAL REPORT: Crews from the U.S. Forest Service are actively battling an 85-acre fire near Wagner Gap, now called the Hendrix Fire. Forestry officials believe that the fire started from a lightning strike after thunderstorms rolled through Southern Oregon over the weekend.
The Hendrix Fire was first reported to Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest (RRSNF) officials by a lookout at the Dutchman Peak Lookout station at 9:30 a.m. on July 15. Forestry officials say that the fire is located about three air miles from Wagner Gap and less than two miles from a small community called Dog Fork. It currently burns on a mix of RRSNF and privately-owned land.
According to RRSNF, firefighting efforts are hampered by steep terrain and the densely canopied forest—which effectively catches retardant drops, rendering them ineffective.
As of 10 a.m. on July 16, officials estimate that the fire covers 85 acres.
On Sunday, RRSNF attacked the fire with a mix of ground crews, helicopters carrying water buckets, and air tankers dropping about 10,000 gallons of retardant. Retardant was largely phased out after failing to reach the ground.
Going forward, RRSNF said, suppression efforts will focus on methods that have proved effective—helicopter bucket drops, use of ground crews, and employing air tankers only where they will be most effective (such as logging slash on privately-owned timber lands).
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