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Governor declares conflagration for Rogue River Dr. fire

, Written by Roma Villavicencio, Posted: Tue, August 12 2014 at 11:07 PM, Updated: Thu, August 14 2014 at 12:29 PM

Update (8/14 12:30pm) The Jackson County Sheriff's Office have announced that ALL evacuation orders for the Rogue River Drive Fire, near Shady Cove have been removed.

Portions of Rogue River Drive will remain closed until 6pm today. The closed area on Rogue River Drive includes the section between Colfax Road and Long Branch Road.

Residents and emergency crews are allowed to use the area with caution. Fire crews still have quite a bit of equipment and fire apparatus working in the area.

Officials say if people plan on using Takelma Park, need to be aware of large equipment moving in and out of the parking lot. The park will not be closed, however, if people can find an alternate boat launch location that would be helpful.

Jackson County Sheriff's Office added that while evacuations have been dissolved, there are still firefighters actively working in the area. Be aware of equipment along the road, and possible hot spots.


Update (8/13 2pm) According to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office due to wet weather and hard work along the containment lines fire commanders are lowering evacuation levels for some people on Wednesday afternoon.

Anyone who was on a LEVEL 3 Evacuation is now on a LEVEL 1. This includes people living on Dry Creek Road.

All other LEVEL 1 evacuations remain.


Update (8/13 11am) According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Rogue River Drive Fire, located near Shady Cove in Jackson County (15 miles north of Medford), has grown to 600 acres. Nearly 130 structures are currently threatened. Erratic winds in the area have been reported. Cause is under investigation.

Please see below for current area evacuation updates.


Update (8/13 8am) There is now a LEVEL 1 Evacuation for all people living on Greenleaf and Colfax Way. Evacuation levels set last night will continue to stay in place.

Residents currently on LEVEL 3 Evacuation:

Dry Creek Road

Residents Currently on LEVEL 1 Evacuation:

3,000 block of Rogue River Drive to the intersection of Rhodes Lane which includes: Rhodes Lane, Kitty Lane, Osprey Drive, Greenleaf Drive, Colfax Way.


Shady Cove, Ore.--  Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber declared an emergency conflagration for the Rogue River Drive Fire Tuesday night. 134 homes are threatened and now the state Fire Marshal's Office will step in.

A storm cell caused the fire that started Monday at 100 acres grow an additional 120 acres. Tuesday night Jackson County Fire District 3 said the fire had burned more than 220 acres. Theysaid erratic winds pushed the fire out of the containment line.

Larry Sweem lives near the fire and saw helicopters filling up from the Rogue from his backyard deck.

"I'm feeling good I just know that the good lord has got us in his hand and we'll be fine,"said Sweem.  

Because the fire is in steep terrain and dry fuel agencies quickly called for six helicopters and three air tankers.

"This was predicted and it always presents a challenge to us it tests our fire lines and unfortunately it blew out on southeast side," said Don Hickman with Jackson County Fire District 3.  

Hickman said all the residents in the fire line including Sweem have been notified.

"We've made contact with all the homeowners just so they know where we're at with our fire fighting efforts."  

Sweems just thankful that for now, his home is okay.

Fire officials said the people who live in the three homes under a mandatory evacuation are choosing to stay. And that there's a good defensible space around their homes.

But if they do leave they won't be able to return until the fire is more under control.

EVACUATION LIST:

The storm system moving through Jackson County Tuesday afternoon had a direct impact on the Rogue River Drive Fire, near Shady Cove. Weather conditions aided the fire to gain momentum and cross containment lines.

There is now a LEVEL 1 evacuation for all residents on Rogue River Drive, from the 3,000 block until the intersection with Rhodes Lane. The Level 1 evacuation will also include all residents on Kitty Drive and Osprey Drive. 

LEVEL 1: A Level 1 Evacuation means “BE READY” for potential evacuation.
Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock. If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact you via an emergency notification system.

The increased fire activity has also threatened homes on Dry Creek Road. There is now a LEVEL 3 evacuation for all residents living on Dry Creek Road. 

LEVEL 3: A Level 3 Evacuation means “GO” Evacuate NOW
LEAVE IMMEDIATELY!
Danger to your area is current or imminent, and you should evacuate immediately. If you choose to ignore this advisement, you must understand that emergency services may not be available to assist you further. DO NOT delay leaving to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home.

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About the Author

Roma Villavicencio

NBC5 News reporter Roma Villavicencio comes from Southern California where she reported for Garden Grove TV Channel 3.

She is a graduate of the journalism/communications program at Cal State Fullerton.

Roma is very proud of her Mexican heritage. She is bi-lingual and looks forward to serving our Hispanic community.

She loves food, music and the San Francisco Giants. She lives by the slogan “viva la vida!”

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