Seldom does one say a fire is fortunate, but if a major fire had to occur in our area, it was most fortunate that it occurred on the last day of summer. Air tankers were (some or all) scheduled to leave with the start of fall. And if a fire had to occur near many hillside homes in east Medford, it was fortunate it occurred a few hours after equipment had tackled the Siskiyou fire in Ashland.
The Ashland fire evacuated a number of homes including Bellview School. It burned about 160 acres. The
Deer Ridge fire above Foothills Road burned 630 acres and came within feet of some homes. The main sub station on Foothills had to be shut down for several hours causing power loss to 25,000 residents.
Quick action by local fire agencies to state officials, who communicated quickly with the governor produced almost immediate conflagration orders from the governor. And almost as quickly, engines and fire fighters from across Oregon were on their way to Jackson County where they spelled local agencies who were battling fires in 100 degree temperatures.
Smoke has filed the valley, especially the north end for several days. It has come from the Boze fire at 9,482 acres and Rainbow at 3,244 acres as of Sunday. On Sunday they expected winds, high temps to expand the fires. Hunters are being warned of road closures.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent