Crews focusing on structure protection for Ramsey Canyon Fire

Jackson County, Ore. — In your Fire Danger Red Report, NBC5 News first told you about a fast-burning wildfire in the Gold Hill area Wednesday. Now, firefighters from across the state are focusing on transition and structure protection.

The Ramsey Canyon Fire first sparked just before 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

The fire is burning near Sams Valley and Gold Hill. No injuries have been reported. More than 200 structures are threatened. Nearly 400 personnel are working to fight the fire – including four helicopters, 15 hand crews, and about 30 fire engines.

Hundreds of personnel are working the fire in Jackson County. With so many moving parts, how do you work towards containment, but also look after the nearby structures and people in the community? That’s where the Oregon State Fire Marshal comes in.

Since the Ramsey Canyon Fire started burning, it’s been all hands on deck from your local firefighters.

“People from Shady Cove, Applegate, Medford, Ashland, and ODF Southwest in Jackson and Josephine Counties. But Thursday, we have a team coming to help alleviate those local resources,” said Melissa Cano, Oregon Department of Forestry.

“We have two agencies that are working hip to hip to make sure we are making good decisions on where the fire is moving, how to fight it and where areas of concern are,” said Stefan Myers, Oregon State Fire Marshal.

One of those teams is ODF, the other is the Oregon State Fire Marshal.

“We focus on saving lives and property in the area,” Myers said.

As ODF crews are busy working to put out the flames, the fire marshal is making efforts to protect the community.

“That way there’s not one group trying to do everything, but instead it’s a division of duties. We come to assist and add to those resources so that this fire doesn’t move into the structures and that those are protected which is our primary focus,” Myers said.

Resources from the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office were able to be sent, once Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared the fire a conflagration.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. As of Thursday, the fire is 15% contained and around 800 acres in size.

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