(12:39 P.M.) A lightning-caused fire that grew quickly along the Greensprings and forced an evacuation of homes on Copco Road has grown to 6,300 acres. The Oregon Gulch Fire started Thursday as a 10-acre blaze, but rapidly spread, sending plumes of smoke into Southern Oregon skies.
Some structures within the fire have burned. It is not known if any of those are homes.
Only a handful of lightning strikes were recorded Thursday night. The smoke has had little effect thus far on air quality in the Medford area.
A Level Three evacuation was declared for Copco Road on the Oregon side, meaning that residents were warned to leave immediately as there was no guarantee they could be helped by rescue personnel. Several homes at Jenny Creek were also evacuated.
The Oregon Department of Forestry has an incident team mobilized.