Crews wrap fire lines around Applegate blaze

Firefighting crews have completed a line around the 150-acre blaze that started Sunday afternoon in brush behind Applegate Elementary School.

The fire line, according to Applegate Fire District 9 office manager Carey Chaput, needs significant work.

“Their efforts are focused on improving the line to keep the fire away from the houses,” Chaput said of crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry and District 9. “The rough terrain has made it difficult in some spots.”

Homes are not being evacuated at this point, but residents are being encouraged to close windows and garage doors and remove flammable material from the exterior of their houses in preparation for the potential that conditions could worsen.

Engines designed for battling structure fires are in place. Two 20-person crews, one 10-person crew and one 7-person crew, six engines, three dozers and three water tankers are assigned to the fire.

While the flames are controlled, the fire is far from being contained. High temperatures later in the day could make it difficult to keep the blaze at bay.

“It all depends on what Mother Nature brings us today,” Chaput said.

Airplane bombers and helicopters were at the burn on Monday morning working to douse the remaining hot spots.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.
— Bob Albrecht

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