Crews have line around 633-acre Medford fire

    Firefighters completed a line around the 633-acre Deer Ridge fire in Medford's east hills Monday night, while a 153-acre fire in the south Ashland foothills was contained.

    “There’s not much going on right now, at least nothing bad,” said Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Brian Ballou this morning.

    “We had people out there all night completing the fire line, and today we’ll lay in hoses on the Deer Ridge fire.”

    No structures burned in the Deer Ridge fire that moved north from the south flank of Roxy Ann Peak past Little Roxy Ann. One house and a handful of outbuildings burned in Ashland on Monday.

    “It went pretty well,” Ballou said. “Considering we had two nasty fires going at the same time, things went about as good as they could.”

    He said investigation into the causes of the fires began Monday.

    “I haven’t heard from the investigators yet,” Ballou said. “But it’s mostly likely something related to human cause. Once lightning is ruled out, you are pretty much left with people. The odds of spontaneous combustion are probably rarest of all.”

    Another red-flag warning day with high temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds is predicted today, although the winds are expected to taper off by about 2 p.m.

    Ballou said there were between 300 and 350 firefighters on the blazes.

    - Greg Stiles

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