East Antelope fire at 98% containment

·2 min read

Jun. 4—The East Antelope fire near White City was 98% contained Friday, the Oregon Department of Forestry reported.

Efforts to monitor hot spots will continue, fire officials said.

"During the day, we have one crew out there just continuing to grid the whole area for smoke," said Natalie Weber, public information officer for ODF's Southwest Division. "Overnight, we have engines to just patrol the area and make sure that it doesn't go anywhere. But at this point, things are going really well. They're not finding too much out there. It's much more of a precautionary thing because of the heat and conditions that we've been seeing."

The blaze, reported at 2:45 p.m. Saturday, May 29, along the 9600 block of East Antelope Road, was difficult to access because it was burning on a slope.

"We were able to find a couple of good access points," Weber said. "The challenge, really, was just the terrain in general. It was pretty steep in some areas, and pretty dense in brush in others. And so there was a lot of fuel up there to burn, and that was a challenge. Especially with the wind coming up the hill."

Other responding agencies include Jackson County Fire District No. 3, Lake Creek Fire, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Jackson County Sheriff's Department, Jackson County Emergency Management, and Jackson County Roads Department.

That wind sparked some spot fires outside of the main blaze. A lot of the initial attack included bucket drops from Type 1 helicopters. The blaze also prompted a Level 2 "Get Set" evacuation advisory from Jackson County Emergency Management for an area south of 8465 East Antelope Road. The closest structures were about a quarter-mile away, Weber said.

The cause of the fire, which burned on a mixture of private and public lands, remains under investigation

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanpfeil.