Courtesy: Scott Douglas

Grass fire in Central Point destroys 65 acres of land

A wind fueled grass fire in Central Point, forced Level 3 evacuations. Jackson County Fire District 3 and the Oregon Department of Forestry were first on scene at Table Rock Rd. and Latigo Lane, in Northeast Central Point, Thursday afternoon. ODF said the fire grew to about 65 acres before crews contained it.

“I always hear sirens, but this time I heard them stop,” said Scott Douglas, the manager of Spray Kleen Auto Wash in Central Point.

Douglas said he was in the back office when fire crews went racing by.

“I came out here and the place was on fire across the street,” Douglas said.

He saw the fire, smelled the smoke and hoped it wouldn’t get any bigger.

“I’m just glad it stayed on their side of the street.” Douglas said.

Oregon Department of Forestry Public Information Officer, Natalie Weber said, the first call came in around 3:30 Thursday afternoon of a moderately moving grass fire in Northeast Central Point. When crews got on scene, they immediately started to line the fire.

“They had a point where they were getting a really good knock down on it and then the wind came up and it really just pushed it forward,” Weber said.

That forced Level 3 evacuations for the surrounding area just before 4:15 p.m.

“It’s just a lot of dry grass and then we have the hot and windy weather and really, that’s the worse combination that you can have when it comes to a fire wanting to spread,” Weber said.

No homes were damage or destroyed, but two outbuildings were lost. Weber said, this fire serves as a reminder to know the fire regulations in your area and make sure you’re signed up to get evacuation information through Citizen Alert.

“Following those regulations, you are already helping us prevent fires and whatever we can do to further those efforts, helps fire fighters and keeps our community safe,” Weber said.

ODF said forward progress of the fire was stopped and all active fire was put out. The Level 3 evacuations were lifted. Weber said because of the size of the fire grew to, crews will be mopping up for some time. The cause is still under investigation.

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Shellye Leggett is an anchor and producer for NBC5 News. You can also catch her anchoring on KMVU FOX26. She comes to the Rogue Valley from Albuquerque, New Mexico where she was a nightside reporter and fill-in weekend anchor for KOAT Action 7 News for 3 years. She has also reported in Colorado Springs, Colorado, South Bend, Indiana and Bozeman, Montana. Shellye was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She graduated from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois with a B.A. in Communication Studies. She then earned a Master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago. In her free time, she loves to hang out with her husband who's in the Navy, her cat “Tootsie,” watch scary movies with friends and spend time with her extended family who live all over the West Coast. Shellye is excited to explore Southern Oregon and North California and tell your stories.
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