There’s no question that fire departments in the Rogue Valley are serious about quickly dousing fires this year.
On August 23, a fire broke out on West Gregory Road in Central Point. The area is heavily wooded and there was a cluster of homes in the immediate vicinity. Within minutes, units from Fire District #3 were on the scene and back-up from several other agencies wasn’t far behind. In a short time, thick smoke blanketed the immediate area. Fire District #3 responded with their first unit within seven minutes and the second call was five minutes later. They were dispatched to an area with no fire hydrants which made the incident a little more difficult to handle.
According to Fire District #3, the blaze broke out in a single wide mobile home in the 500 block of West Gregory Road. It quickly spread to an adjacent mobile home, then another and to several outbuildings. The intensity of the blaze caught trees near the homes and then spread to tall grasses both on that property and then to properties across the street.
Water tenders from Fire District #3, Fire District #4, Medford, Rogue River and Jacksonville supplied water to a portable storage area as Fire District #3 pumped hundreds of gallons onto the structures and the surrounding area. Oregon Department of Forestry patrolled the area across the street where 10 spot fires started in the tall grass. Those were quickly doused by ODF crews. Jackson County sheriff deputies patrolled the area keeping curious people at a safe distance from the intense blaze.
Investigators were on scene early the next morning attempting to determine the cause of the fire. According to Fire District #3, one home was totally destroyed, two others were partially destroyed. At press time, they had no estimate of the value of the damage. A total of 21 units were on scene as were two ODF crews and one Hotshot crew.
This second major incident within the past two weeks should be an indication of the volatility of the extremely dry vegetation that exists within the valley. Despite the conditions, relatively few fires have been reported, but the dry conditions exist and therefore the potential is still there for great loss. Fire District #3 reminds everyone to clear a safe area around their dwellings to prevent fire losses.