Photo Gallery 16 Images
WHITE CITY, Ore. —
(Video courtesy of Ethan Hill)
UPDATE: ODF officials have confirmed that a fire of over 100 acres that burned through a field in the outskirts of White City was caused by fireworks. It is now being called the Atlantic Avenue Fire.
A 14-year-old girl was lighting fireworks near a vacant house, causing the fire to ignite and spread out into a field near Atlantic Avenue and Antelope Road, fire investigators believe. The case will be referred to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office for prosecution, according to ODF.
Meanwhile, fire crews have now completed a fire line to contain any remaining hot spots at a fire that they now believe covered 115 acres.
After conducting damage assessment, ODF says that two RVs, one bus, six boats, four outbuildings and one vacant house were completely destroyed in the fire. There have been no injuries or deaths reported as a result of the fire. Meanwhile, investigators will be working to assess any property damage to neighbors.
The Atlantic Avenue Fire was first reported just after 4 p.m. on Thursday, but grew to cover over 100 acres within an hour. Crews from ODF, FD3, and a number of neighboring agencies worked to fight the fire and keep the public safe during the worst hours of the incident.
(Updated as of 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 6)
UPDATE: Authorities on the scene of the fire near White City say that it covered between 100-150 acres but seems to have stopped growing. Currently fire crews have almost finished lining the fire's perimeter, but do not yet consider it contained. Most of the fire spread over a roughly rectangular-shaped field, but some structures may have sustained limited fire damage. Fire officials say that some of the flames jumped over Bigham Brown Road and started to spread in a separate field before fire crews responded to the area.
Fire crews anticipate staying overnight to mop up the flames and deal with hot spots.
(Updated as of 6:55 p.m. on Thursday, July 5)
UPDATE: Fire crews on the scene of an address on Antelope Road near White City say that the flames started at a residence and spread out into a field, where high winds have caused them to spread quickly east.
Flames in the field have caused some residents nearby to evacuate.
Firefighters from Fire District 3 and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) are working to contain the fire while deputies with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) are working to direct traffic away from the area.
(Updated as of 6:10 p.m. on Thursday, July 5)
UPDATE: ODOT says that Highway 140 is now open east of White City, however Kershaw Road just north of the highway has been closed due to "multiple reported structure fires."
Traffic bound for Eagle Point is being directed to use Oregon 62 to avoid road closures.
(Updated as of 5:35 p.m. on Thursday, July 5)
INITIAL REPORT: A wildfire near White City has caused the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to close down Highway 140.
The fire began at 7890 Atlantic Avenue. ODOT says that the highway closure is near milepost 3.
This is a developing story, and we will be updating with more information as it emerges.