As of Saturday morning, crews were able to complete approximately 70% of the fire line and hold it at around 300 acres. More than 200 personnel will be working on the fire, with a goal of completing the fire line and strengthening the perimeter.
Crews continue to work to close the fire line. Four fallers will be on scene Saturday, taking down dangerous trees in and around the fire’s perimeter. Snags and steep terrain are added risks to our crews.
Overnight, one firefighter was injured on the northeast side of the fire. The firefighter was transported by air to a local hospital with serious injuries.
According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, weather for Saturday is expected to be hot temperatures and windy conditions which will add new challenges. Fire activity has the potential to increase in the afternoon, and aircraft will be focused on any potential spread. A multitude of resources will be on the fire including 10 20-man crews, 10 engines, four tree fallers, four bulldozers, and six water tenders.
Additionally, one LAT, five SEATs, and a lead plane will begin making retardant drops as early as the smoke lifts to bolster temporary and existing fire lines. Helicopters available include five type ones, two type twos, and on type three; those resources will also be making water drops throughout the day.
The East Evans Fire was initially reported as a structure fire at approximately 2 p.m. Friday. Crews arrived at 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, continuous retardant drops created a temporary fire line around the entire perimeter and significantly slowed the spread. By 7 p.m., crews had built on the retardant line and secured 10% with hand line.
Evacuations have been made by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies gave an immediate evacuation notice (LEVEL 3) to 11 residences in the area. Deputies also made 18 door-to-door LEVEL 1 evacuation notices in the area of East Evans Creek Road between the 18500-block and Meadows Road (north side of the roadway). At this time, a Red Cross Shelter has not been set up. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Updates on the East Evans Fire can be found on our website:
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.