Highway 38 fire

A fire shut down both lanes of Highway 38 Wednesday afternoon. Photo courtesy of Douglas Forest Protective Association.

A fire Wednesday afternoon near milepost 44 of Highway 38, likely caused by a downed power line, burned an acre and a half of land and closed a section of the highway for several hours.

Crews from the Douglas Forest Protective Association, North Douglas County Fire & EMS and Elkton Rural Fire Department responded to the natural cover fire Wednesday afternoon, around 1:10 p.m.

At that point, the fire, located about 6 miles west of Drain, was about an acre and a half in size and moving quickly up a hillside, according to the DFPA.

It closed a mile of Highway 38 in both directions for three and a half hours, and a preliminary investigation indicated a downed power line started the fire. Firefighters and crews from the Oregon Department of Transportation and Douglas Electric Cooperative worked alongside the highway.

Using three helicopters, a bulldozer and fire engines, crews reportedly completed a dozer line around the majority of the fire by 4:30 p.m., meaning they dug barrier around the blaze to contain it. At this point, one lane of traffic reopened.

By 7 p.m. crews completed the full fire line around the perimeter, and laid hoses. They reportedly remained overnight to maintain control and put out hot spots.

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