Firefighters making progress on Garner Complex Fire

ROGUE RIVER, Ore. — Firefighters say they are making progress on the Garner Complex Fire.

It’s now 18 percent contained, and incident management hopes to have full containment in about two weeks. And with less humidity and no wind today, they are gaining ground.

“We knew when we built it, there’s a risk,” said Rogue River resident, Deborah Mailho.

She’s lived in her home on Pleasant Creek Road for 25 years. Her husband built it.

“It’s just who we are…And we didn’t want to lose it,” she said.
Mailho says they’re used to fire season here in Southern Oregon, but never expected anything to get this close.

“I don’t ever remember it being a mile away,” she said. “We’ve had fires, but not anything like this…”

They’re in a level 2 evacuation zone near the Pleasant Creek Fire, part of the 13-fire Garner Complex in both Jackson and Josephine Counties..

Mailho says they packed up their things and evacuated two days ago.

“I thought it was prudent to make a decision; A decision had to be made,” she said.

However, since attending the meeting in Wimer on Tuesday night, her mood has shifted.

“They cared about us,” she said. “You could tell…that those guys are leaving their families and their homes to come help us.”

Don Hickman from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry says there was an overwhelming response from the community.

“We were not going to leave that assembly area until everyone in that room had the answers that they needed,” he said.

Even with the Pleasant Creek Fire a mile away from residents like Mailho, Hickman says things are looking up.

“The winds are relatively light and even though we’re going to have high temperatures and slightly lower humidity, it’s the perfect scenario for a good burn and hopefully we can get some aircraft in the air,” he said.

There are now 2400 people at the base camp in Josephine County. Today, Hickman says they will be doing burnouts around the Taylor and Grave Creek Fires, so residents shouldn’t be alarmed if they see huge plumes of smoke.

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