Firefighters were finally able to safely walk the perimeter of the Cleveland Ridge Fire last night allowing for a more accurate mapping of the fire. Until firefighters deem the perimeter safe, sizing estimates are made by aerial support. Crews used handheld GPS units to walk along the fire, now estimating it at 530 acres. Fire crews also strengthened fire line overnight, with some areas reaching 25 to 30 feet wide in order to prevent spot fires today.
The fire burning on private and Bureau of Land Management forestlands north/northwest of Shady Cove has a fire line completed around 100 percent of the fire and is 35 percent contained as of this morning.
The fire was reported at 4:01 p.m. Monday and started near the West Fork of Trail Creek Rd. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Air and ground support will work today to knock down the fire, continue strengthening control lines and work on mopping up hot spots along the perimeter. There will be a focus on the north side of the fire where the Cleveland Ridge Fire is most actively burning.
Weather conditions today could pose a challenge for firefighters. Temperatures are expected to range from 95-98 degrees, relative humidity between 10-12 percent, morning east/northeast winds at 3 mph with potential gusts up to 8 mph, and evening north/northwest winds at 3-5 mph with gusts up 8 mph. The fire is burning in grass, brush and mixed-age conifer forest. The topography ranges from moderate to very steep. Road access is good to the east and west flanks of the fire, and has increasingly improved on the north side.
The Level 1 (Be Ready) Evacuation Notice will remain in effect for residents on Taylor Rd. and the West Fork of Trail Creek Rd., as well as residents along Hwy. 227 from the junction with the West Fork of Trail Creek Rd. to address 6481 Hwy. 227. Firefighters will continue to monitor all structures surrounding the flanks of the fire throughout the day.
Sections of West Fork Trail Creek Road remain closed today. While all other roads are currently open, we ask that people are cautious while traveling through areas with high fire traffic.
As a reminder, TouVelle State Park in Central Point is closed to the public. The park is being used as the site for the Cleveland Ridge Fire fire camp. Please avoid the area in order to allow fire traffic the accessibility they need to the entrance/exit points.
Fire management officials ask that the public continue to use caution and adhere to regulations. Current fire restrictions for lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District can be found on the district’s Facebook page ODF Southwest Oregon District and the website www.swofire.com.