Ashland fire 85 percent contained

The blaze blackening the hills south of Ashland is 85 percent contained, and firefighters are working around the clock to corral it further, fire officials said this morning.

Officials expect to have the Siskiyou fire fully contained on Thursday, said Brian Ballou, fire prevention specialist with the Oregon Department of Forestry, the agency in charge of the fire.

The fire has burned 190 acres in the hills above Siskiyou Boulevard, south of Tolman Creek Road since it began Monday morning, new mapping data shows, Ballou said. Previously officials estimated the fire — which has not spread since late Monday — had burned about 150 acres.

Approximately 185 homes remain threatened by the fire, although all evacuation orders have been lifted, he said.

Officials will declare the blaze fully contained when firefighters have secured the perimeter of the fire and all hot spots between 50 and 100 feet inside of the fire line have remained extinguished for several hours.

Fighting the fire has so far cost $831,000, but expenses are expected to top $1 million before the blaze is declared 'out,' Ballou said.

— Ashland Daily Tidings

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