Fast moving grass fire burns two acres damaging two houses in White City

WHITE CITY, Ore. – Emergency crews responded to an over two-acre grass fire in White City this Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, it started around 4:30 pm near Avenue E and Wilson Way.

The Sheriff’s Office said around five homes were evacuated because of how close they were to the fire.

Eyewitnesses said they heard a loud boom before seeing smoke. Some neighbors said they tried to stop the fire before emergency crews got on scene.

“The field was on fire, the whole field, it was smoke and just chaos,” said Diedrich Kurkowski.

“A bunch of our neighbors jumped the fence and started throwing hoses over so people could hook hoses up to every connection and we all stayed on this side fighting the fire,” said Audrey Smith.

Fire District 3 said the grass fire was spreading rapidly because of the wind. It spread to a fence and nearby homes.

Firefighters said four homes were involved. One home received extensive damage another had exterior damage. Others in the area have damage to their backyards.

“It’s just a constant reminder that in Southern Oregon we are prone to wildfire. It doesn’t matter if we live within a residential community or more up in the hills, all of us are susceptible to wildfire and we need to do our best to keep the fuels knocked down and really strengthen your home,” said Chief Mike Hussey, with Fire District 3.

Eyewitnesses claim that a lightning strike was the cause of the fire. Chief Hussey said lightning is a suspected cause, but an investigation is underway. No injuries were reported.

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