GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) -- A wildfire in southwestern Oregon has quickly grown to nearly a square mile in area, and is expected to grow much more.

The Oak Flat fire was burning Monday on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest about 20 miles west of Grants Pass on the eastern edge of the giant 2002 Biscuit fire.

U.S. Forest Service officials say the fire was burning along Briggs Creek, a tributary of the Illinois River, forcing the evacuation of small-time gold miners working claims in the area.

With few other wildfires burning around the country, the Oak Flat fire was the nation's No. 1 fire, so resources have been readily available. But officials say the rugged terrain and heavy timber make fighting the fire difficult.

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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