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Crews battle rapidly advancing fire in Oregon with air, ground resources

by Nick Morgan, Medford (Ore.) Mail-Tribune |

The Oregon Department of Forestry is fighting a roughly 350 acre wildfire in the area of Dead Indian Memorial Road and Keno Access Road about 20 miles east of Ashland.

The Grizzly Creek Fire was first spotted at about 2:25 p.m. Friday about a mile north of Howard Prairie Lake, according to Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District Public Affairs Officer Kyle Novy-Riley.

By shortly after 4 p.m., the fire had grown to an estimated 150 acres, and as of 6:12 p.m. ODF estimated the blaze to be between 300 and 350 acres.

Air and ground resources battled the wildfire during daylight hours, and ground crews are working the fire overnight, according to an ODF press release.

Novy-Riley said the cause of the fire is unknown.

The wildfire prompted road closures and evacuation warnings in the area of Dead Indian Memorial and Hyatt Prairie roads, according to a Jackson County Roads and Parks release issued shortly before 5 p.m. Friday.

ODF ordered Level 2 “Be Set” evacuations for all existing campers at campgrounds near Howard Prairie Lake, according to the county. Upcoming campground reservations in the area were canceled, and the county was contacting campers with reservations who had not yet arrived and notifying them not to travel to the parks.