At 6:02pm, Sunday July 7, 2019, North Douglas County Fire & EMS (NDCFEMS) and the Douglas Forest Protective Association was dispatched to multiple reports of a natural cover fire in the Rice Hill area near milepost 148 on I-5. After initial dispatch, Douglas County Emergency Communications received reports of a structure on fire in the same area.
Fire crews from NDCFEMS located the fire in the 400 block of Deer Hollow Lane in Rice Hill. The first arriving engine discovered a barn fully involved with fire spreading to another barn and nearby trees and brush. The first in engine was able to slow the grass fire and focus on stopping fire spread in the second barn. Second and third in brush trucks were able to stop all forward spread of the grass and tree fires and moved to extinguishing the first and second barns. Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire in the second barn with moderate damage to the structure. The first barn was a complete loss.
Fire officials with NDCFEMS and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office currently have estimated value loss over $1,000,000. The cause of the fire is an electrical malfunction and is still under investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and the Oregon State Fire Marshals Office.
North Douglas County Fire & EMS was assisted by the Douglas Forest Protective Association and Oakland Rural Fire District.