SAMS VALLEY, Ore.– (Press Release) Windy conditions tested fire lines overnight, as crews worked to continue forward progress on the East Evans Fire, located in Sams Valley. While containment hasn’t changed, lines are holding strong, and mop-up operations will continue on Sunday. The fire remains an estimated 300 acres, and is burning on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and private land.
Crews will focus on falling dangerous trees, referred to as snags, with the goal of improving safety on the line. Mop-up operations will also continue, however snags have posed a significant risk to firefighter safety, and clearing hazards will be one of today’s top priorities. Crews will also be monitoring the area for potential spot fires that may be carried by possible windy conditions.
Weather is expected to be an added challenge for crews, along with the District today, as temperatures heat up and the potential for thunderstorms on the east side of the county could spread out resources. Firefighters and admin staff are aware of the forecast and will make strategic and tactical decisions accordingly.
More than 200 personnel remain dedicated to the East Evans Fire for today’s shift. Resources on the fire today include 10 20-man crews, four 10-man crews, 10 engines, two bulldozers, eight water tenders, and five tree fallers. Aircraft will be utilized when smoky conditions adequately clear; helicopters and airtankers are available to work the fire.
The East Evans Fire was initially reported as a structure fire at approximately 2 p.m. Friday. Crews arrived to a burning structure and five acres of active fire. With hot temperatures and wind, it spread to an estimated 300 acres within the first three hours. However, aircraft and ground resources moved swiftly in the first five hours to gain the upper hand. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office initially made 11 LEVEL THREE and 18 LEVEL ONE evacuations; they remain in place. Residents affected has been notified. A Red Cross Shelter in not in place.
ODF Southwest Oregon District is greatly appreciative of our partnership with the BLM on this fire, as well as the efforts made by our partner agencies, including the Rogue Valley Fire Chief’s Association, Oregon State Police, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Mercy Flights, Jackson County Roads, and Jackson County Emergency Management.
Updates on the East Evans Fire can be found on our Facebook Page: @ODFSouthwest and our website: www.swofire.com.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.