Firefighters prepping homes

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — It’s a critical day for firefighters fighting the Miles Fire.

Nancy Hartman has lived on Cascade Gorge Road for 4 years. She says it’s the first time a fire has been this close to her home.

“It’s a little unnerving but I have confidence,” she said. “Full confidence in everyone that’s working.”

Hartman’s in a level 2 evacuation zone by the Southern flank of the Miles Fire…burning at over 25,000 acres.

Christa Sadler, a public information officer for the Miles Fire, says the concern for firefighters today is the Flat Creek drainage where many spot fires are springing up around the body of the fire.

“The embers from the fire travelling up to a mile…possibly a mile in a half,” Sadler said.

These smaller fires can turn into much bigger fires edging closer to nearby communities.

“Firefighters are trying to hold the line along the drainage, so even though we have that line pretty steady, it’s possible that activity could move to the Southeast again with those spot fires making this area more at risk,” said Sadler.

That’s why firefighters like Kyle Kemper are going into homes today and prepping them.

“We knock all grass, leaves, shrubs away from the home…”

Kemper says they also look for water sources.

“In which we can provide sprinklers and water protection in those areas,” he said.

While evaluating their ability to move in and out of a home if the flames get too close.

“That’s why we do the preparation that we do to make sure the house is in the best condition it can be,” Kemper said.

Meanwhile, Hartman says she’s packed everything up but isn’t too concerned.

“A lot of it is in someone else’s hands…like a higher being, but I’m very confident the fire crews are doing everything they possibly can,” she said.

If things take a turn for the worst, Hartman says she’ll still have her memories.

“You have to walk away sometimes…that’s all.”

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