Grass fire in Medford

0901 Medford grass fireMedford, Ore. — An early morning grass fire took off in Medford, sending a large plume of smoke over the Rogue Valley before sunrise on Thursday.

Medford Fire-Rescue, with the help of Jackson County Fire District 3, were able to keep the fire near the Sierra Pacific Mill under 4 acres.

As the fire spread south, police shut down the Jacksonville Highway bridge.

Due to the timing of the fire, it didn’t take investigators long to determine a likely cause. “Homeless folks will start a warming fire or discard a cigarette along the walking paths and there’s a lot of heavy fuel concentration out there with the weeds and grass,” said Deputy Fire Marshal Chase Browning.

The bridge on Jacksonville Highway was reopened shortly after crews knocked down the fire.

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