GOLD HILL, Ore. — After little more than a week, fire crews have reached 95 percent containment on the same 1,971-acre Ramsey Canyon Fire that once threatened homes and destroyed one structure.
Crews will be working through Labor Day weekend on mop-up efforts, with a focus on the northern perimeter of the fire. But with the high level of containment, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) says that they will be significantly scaling back the amount of firefighters and equipment on the scene.
In a Friday morning update, ODF said that it would be their last update on the Ramsey Canyon Fire unless conditions change drastically.
At the height of the fire, nearly 500 structures were threatened. But throughout the entire firefight, only one abandoned outbuilding was lost.
Over the next several days, ODF says that firefighters on the ground will be conducting "fire suppression repair" — such as erosion control — throughout the entire footprint of the fire. Crews will be using handheld infrared scanners to search and detect heat along the perimeter of the fire in order to secure control lines and extinguish all remaining hot spots.
For the remaining crews on the scene, the danger isn't entirely past. Loose debris and snags on the steep slopes can fall on firefighters as they work to shore up and repair damage along the fire lines.
Fire meteorologists predict temperatures in the 80s through Sunday, with winds from the north and northwest close to 15 mph. ODF says that firefighters are prepared to catch any spot fires that might flare up, although the potential for spot fires remains quite low.
ODF says that they expect residents to continue returning back to their homes, although the Jackson County Sheriff's Office reduced all evacuation levels to Level 1 "Be Ready" several days ago.
As of 7 a.m Friday morning, the Oregon Department of Forestry Type 1 Incident Management Team (Smith) handed command of the Ramsey Canyon Fire back to the ODF Southwest Oregon District Type 3 Incident Management Team (Johnson).