Almeda Fire: What we know about the wildfire nearing Medford, Oregon

by 24USATVSept. 10, 2020, 1:40 a.m. 127
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Editor's note: We have made this story free to all readers as an important public service. If you are able, please consider a subscription to the Salem Statesman Journal.

The Almeda Fire, also referred to as the Glendower Fire, started burning north of Ashland on Tuesday morning. It spread through parts of Talent and Phoenix, and is now moving toward Medford, Oregon, a town of 82,000 people.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared the Almeda Fire a conflagration, an extensive fire which destroys a great deal of land or property. The move allows the state to send resources to assist local agencies.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal Team arrived on the scene early Wednesday morning and will be transitioning to relieve local resources, according to the Medford Fire Department. A northern Oregon task force has also arrived on the scene to help contain the fire.

Evacuation orders are in place for Jackson County and parts of the Medford area, as well as Red Flag Warnings for southwest Oregon. Interstate 5 remains closed one mile north of the Oregon-California border.

Road closures:Wildfires in Oregon spark road closures statewide. Here is a running list.

Evacuation orders:See full list of evacuation levels, orders county by county in Oregon

Power outages:Nearly 100,000 without power as wildfires, high winds fuel wildfires in Oregon

Here is the latest information regarding the Almeda Fire:

Size: 2,500-3,000 acres as of about 1 a.m. Wednesday morning

Location: Started in/near Ashland, Oregon, spread on both sides of Interstate 5 and along the Bear Creek Greenway, moving toward Medford, Oregon

Impact: Fire had damaged dozens of structures, although details were still coming in about the total and extent of the damage, according to ODF Southwest District Public Affairs Officer Kyle Novy-Riley.
• Area bounded by N. Phoenix Road on the east, Barnett Road, Garfield Road and Steward Avenue to the north, Columbus to Dark Hollow Road to the west. All points south are already at Level 3
• All areas south of Barnett Road to Campbell Road and Glenwood
• Central Point: Beall to Pine on the west side of Interstate 5, Pine to Wilson on the east side of Interstate 5

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is issuing an immediate evacuation notice for all businesses and residents in the Phoenix area.

The Josephine County Fairgrounds are established as a temporary evacuation point, but sheltering not available.
• Oregon 99, 2 miles north of Phoenix: All lanes northbound and southbound MP 8-17

The Ashland School District will be closed on Wednesday, Sept. 9 due to wildfire danger.

The Phoenix-Talent School District will also not have school or school-related events on Wednesday, Sept. 9 due to the fire and power outages.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect until 5 p.m. Wednesday in southwest Oregon:

Winds are expected to blow east at 10-20 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph. Humidity is forecast to be as low as 5%.

These conditions make it easier for new and existing fires to spark or spread rapidly.

What the Almeda Fire threatening Medford looks like

Daniella Medina is a digital producer for the USA TODAY Network. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @danimedinanews.

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