Investigators unsure what started fire

Fire investigators have not found a clear cause of Monday’s wildfire that consumed 3.4 acres of brush and timber in the hills north of Ashland, fire officials said.

Firefighters from the Oregon Department of Forestry will continue checking for hot spots on the mountainside behind 2253 N. Highway 99 throughout the day today.

State forestry spokesman Brian Ballou said the fire will not be declared “out” until there is no visible smoke and the area has been checked three times for additional flares.

Investigators think the 11:38 a.m. fire started near the railroad tracks that run between Highway 99 and the mountainside but have found no clear cause, Ballou said.

“Sometimes you get an answer fairly quickly, and sometimes it takes a week or a couple of weeks to get the results of an investigation,” he said.

Firefighters from the Department of Forestry and three fire districts fought the fire, and state forestry helicopters attacked the blaze with water sucked from a nearby Talent Irrigation District canal. No structures were damaged by the fire, and no injuries were reported.

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