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'Aggressive efforts' hold Worthington Fire to 600 acres overnight

Multiple agencies are on the scene of a wildfire along Worthington Road, between Eagle Point and Butte Falls.

Posted: Jul 31, 2020 9:05 AM
Updated: Jul 31, 2020 1:09 PM

EAGLE POINT, Ore. — A multi-agency assault on a fast-growing wildfire between Eagle Point and Butte Falls kept the fire from growing considerably overnight, according to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Fire 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.


(Photo courtesy Pat Scupien)

Brian Ballou with the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) told NewsWatch 12 that the Worthington Fire is estimated at roughly 600 acres as of Friday morning.

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.

BLM issued a further update on 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. "Thanks to cooler weather and higher humidity last night, crews were able to make substantial process creating fire line, and as of 06:00, have dozer lines around 90% of the fire."

Worthington Road is now under a Level 3 "GO" evacuation order from the 1500-block to the end of the road, including all higher number addresses.

"Level 3 means danger is currently affecting your area or is imminent, and you should leave immediately," the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said. "If you have livestock that you are evacuating, the Jackson County Expo may be able to assist you with placing the animals there. Call the Expo for further information."

BLM said that fire crews intend to "continue a robust ground and aviation campaign" on Friday, amid temperatures in the 90s and expected afternoon winds.

Resources and fire crews from ODF, the federal Bureau of Land Management, and Jackson County Fire District 3 are on the scene. As of Friday, there were 250 personnel, six dozers, eight 20-person hand crews, three water tenders, seven helicopters and one air tanker on the scene.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.

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