Roxy Ann fire grows to 600 acres; some return home

9 p.m. update: Residents of Dry Creek Road, North Roxy road, Dodson Road, the Devil’s Garden and Normil Terrace neighborhoods and Lone Pine Road were cleared to return to their homes at about 8:30 p.m. today, fire officials said.

8:30 p.m. update: A wind-swept fire on Roxy Ann Peak on Medford's east side had grown to about 600 acres by about 8 p.m., but some evacuations were lifted, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The blaze, dubbed the Deer Ridge Fire, was spreading north, but ODF officials said winds had died down considerably after dark, slowing the spread.

Residents from the Dry Creek Road area, including north Roxy Ann Drive, were allowed to return to their homes at about 8:30 p.m.

So far, there are no injuries. Air tankers and helicopters swinging buckets of water and fire retardant around residential areas prevented homes from being consumed by the fire, though some flames came as close as 100 feet from residences, officials said.

“We are going to be using bulldozers pretty heavily through the night to try to create more of a fire line,” said Brian Ballou, ODF spokesman. “The wind has died down, and that's to our advantage.”

More than 100 homes had been evacuated since the fire was reported just shy of 2:30 p.m.
Foothill from Hillcrest to Coker Butte remains closed to traffic, except for emergency vehicles.

— Paris Achen

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