Crews stop fast-moving grass fire before flames reach homes

Gold Hill, Ore. – Flames started moving toward homes off N. River Road in Gold Hill Friday morning, but a quick response from fire crews kept a bad situation from getting worse.

“The fire grew quickly,” Melissa Cano of Oregon Department of Forestry says, “spread rapidly uphill at that point it was estimated 2 acres and we felt it necessary to call all of our aircraft on board: 3 helicopters, 1 air tanker.”

By air and by ground, crews from multiple fire agencies worked to quickly knock down flames that were fast-approaching two homes off N. River Road in Gold Hill.

“It was pretty close to both homes right when it started,” Cano says, “luckily we have such a good partnership with all of our agencies that we were able to kind of line the homes with engines to make sure they were protected.”

That multi-agency response saving the nearby structures, and containing the fire at just over 3 acres. Crews battled high temperatures and tough terrain, with conditions that make it apparent, fire season is far from over.

“We’re on a very steep slope, it’s very dry grass, dry fuels and we’re nearing the end of July which means it’s prime conditions for fire,” Cano says.

The 3800 block of N. River Road was closed for several hours. It is open again. According to Rogue River Fire Department., the fire may have been caused by a homeowner using a cutting torch to cut up scrap metal.

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