Crews mop up a few hot spots in Pacifica fire

All but a handful of firefighters have withdrawn from the Pacifica fire near Williams. Local contractors were transporting water and mopping up a few scattered hot spots Monday morning, according to Brian Ballou, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry.

"We're in pretty good shape," he said Monday. "We had a lot of people working on the fire all weekend."

The blaze, which broke out at about 3 p.m. Friday, burned about 500 acres and threatened 150 structures.

"A lot of houses got saved," Ballou said. One vacant home, at least six outbuildings and one vehicle were lost, according to fire officials.

Winds pushed the flames through the countryside and prompted residents to assist each other as they evacuated homes and livestock, especially horses.

As many as 75 homes were evacuated. The American Red Cross set up an emergency shelter at the Josephine County Fairgrounds for evacuees.

Buckets of water rained down on the flames from helicopters and retardant was dropped from air tankers.

Gov. John Kitzhaber Friday afternoon declared it a conflagration. The declaration authorized the state fire marshal to mobilize structural firefighters and equipment to assist local resources in protecting homes.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal's office deployed about 95 personnel and 24 pieces of firefighting equipment.

In all, some 200 firefighters on strike teams from Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion counties assisted in the battle.

One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion and another for chest pains, but neither required hospitalization. No other injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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