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Worthington Fire containment rises as fire crews hold the lines

(Photo courtesy Pat Scupien)

The Worthington Fire northeast of Eagle Point has not dramatically increased in size since the end of last week, thanks to the aggressive efforts of fire crews.

Posted: Aug 5, 2020 11:43 AM

EAGLE POINT, Ore. — A fast-growing wildfire sparked between Eagle Point and Butte Falls last week has now been hemmed in by fire crews as they steadily increase containment of the area.

Crews responded to the fire roughly five miles to the northeast of Eagle Point on Thursday afternoon, later prompting evacuation orders for one nearby road. The approximate location is at the end of Worthington Road, among wooded hills between Eagle Point and Butte Falls. ODF described the area as forest and brush — partly on BLM land and on private property protected by ODF.

Fire managers said on Wednesday that the Worthington Fire is now being held at 761 acres, with containment up to 75 percent. 

"Fire behavior is mostly smoldering and creeping," officials said. "The fire is 75 percent contained today and fire crews are working on mop-up to improve and strengthen the fire line, expanding and clearing the fire perimeter to 100’-150’ deep."

BLM issued a statement last Friday afternoon, crediting the swift response with keeping the Worthington Fire from spreading overnight.

"The initial and extended attack teams have been extraordinary in the aggressive efforts to contain this fire," the agency said.

All evacuations on the fire have been downgraded to a level 1 “Be Ready” status.

The Incident Command Post for the Worthington Fire is located at Eagle Point Middle School. The team has requested that the public avoid the post to protect firefighter and community health.

"The response to this fire is a coordinated effort of county, state, and federal partners, with most of the fire fighters being locals from the Rogue Valley," fire officials said. "As the activity on this fire continues to decline, resources from the Worthington Fire are available to support other fires in the area."

As of Wednesday, there were 349 personnel, 14 hand crews, five dozers, nine water tenders, two helicopters, and 10 fire engines on the scene.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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