Upper Applegate Fire 35% Mopped Up, Team Transition Occurring

Emergency Management

RUCH, Ore. (July 1, 2024) – Mop up on the Upper Applegate Fire is continuing to increase, as firefighters overnight reached 300-feet into the interior in some areas, upping the percentage complete to 35%. The fire remains 100% lined with direct line, and accurate GPS mapping has placed the fire at 1,143 acres as a final size. Today, 300 personnel are assigned to the fire, including 11 20-person crews, six engines, three water tenders, and five tree fallers. Aircraft assigned remains the same as Sunday’s fleet with two Type 2 helicopters for water bucket drops and a Type 3 helicopter operating as an air attack platform.

A scaled down Type 4 incident management team led by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be taking command of the fire tomorrow morning. Today, the team is shadowing the current organization for a full shift to ensure a smooth transition. Key personnel, including the incident commander, have been working with current management for the past couple days. Firefighters on this team will continue to mop up and conduct suppression repairs. However, even when this work is completed, smoke may be seen within the fire perimeter for several weeks to months. This is normal and to be expected; Applegate Valley Fire District and ODF are always ready to respond if necessary, however lines built during the past week and a half, as well as mop up efforts, are designed to prevent any further spread.

The BLM has issued a closure order for BLM-managed lands in the fire area, including Grouse Creek Road; this will stay in effect as firefighters continue to work in the area. A map and additional information is available at https://www.blm.gov/orwafire. Little Applegate Road and Applegate Lake remain open, however firefighters are continuing to work in these areas as well. Please be aware and follow any reduced speed road signs in the area.

Due to the status of the fire, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management canceled all evacuation notices late Sunday morning. Learn your zone and be better prepared for an emergency here: https://protect.genasys.com/.

Due to the current status, this will be the final update on this incident unless conditions significantly change. Numerous agencies and organizations across the Rogue Valley participated in the group effort of this fire’s suppression; most notably, ODF, BLM and USFS would like to thank the Applegate Valley Fire District for their collaboration and hospitality on this incident, as well as the community of Ruch for their support.

Today, the fire danger level on the ODF Southwest Oregon District increased to high (yellow) and new regulations are in place. Please be aware of and follow all current restrictions to help reduce the risk of fires in our communities. Information is available here: