Alder Creek Fire contained over the weekend

A wildfire that broke out northeast of Shady Cove Thursday and grew to 125 acres was contained by fire crews over the weekend.

The Alder Creek fire was reported Thursday afternoon about 15 miles up Elk Creek Road. It drew two 20-person hand crews, one bulldozer, seven engines and two water tenders from the Oregon Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service

Crews were able to draw lines around the fire to prevent it from spreading further.

Crews drew fire lines around most of the blaze. Some areas were left untouched, including spots where snow remained on the ground or creeks were still frozen.

"Interesting situation, fighting fires in the wintertime," said ODF spokesman Brian Ballou.

Ballou added seeing a wildfire this early in the year is unusual. Underwhelming precipitation and nearly non-existent snowpack have parched the landscape around Jackson County. Add 15 to 20 mph winds to that equation and the terrain is ripe for a fire, officials said.

"It's definitely a sequence of events that I can't recall seeing," Ballou said. "Having red flag warnings on top of (the weather), where you're so dry and there's going to be a strong east wind, those are really unusual events."

ODF officials said crews will head back up to the private lands today to make sure no reignitions occurred.

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