Fire in Applegate Valley sparks from lawn mower

Applegate Valley, Ore. — A grass fire sparked just before noon on Friday in the Applegate Valley.

It happened on the 1200 block of Thompson Creek Road.

The woman who lives in the home nearby says her husband was mowing the lawn to prevent a fire, but what ended up happening was the exact opposite.

“I didn’t think I would be sitting here like this right now. I thought I would be watching… My house burn,” Applegate Valley resident Carole Felty said.

In the 40 years Carole Felty has lived on her property in the Applegate Valley, she has never experienced something like this.

“I couldn’t stop screaming until I saw my husband was okay, and he said they’re on the way and I was yelling ‘help, help’ on the phone and the fire department – they were on the phone with me – they said ‘it’s ok,'” Carole said.

Ironically enough, Carole’s husband was mowing the lawn just before noon, trying to be conscious of fire season, but then the mower sparked a flame.

“It just makes me ill that we were that close,” Carole said.

The fire started small, but quickly grew due to the wind.

“It sent the fire running up back this hill that we’re looking at right here,” Melissa Cano with the Oregon Department of Forestry said.

Melissa Cano with Oregon Department of Forestry says two homes were threatened initially, but ended up fine.

She says we’re currently at a low fire danger level which means you are allowed to mow the grass, but there are some things you’ll want to be aware of.

“If you have very dry grass, maybe make sure you watch the moisture levels, and maybe do it early in the morning versus later in the afternoon,” Cano said.

Thanks to the mutual aid agreement, ODF, the U.S. Forest Service, and Applegate Valley Fire were quickly able to get a line around the flames.

Carole says she knows, both she and her two homes on the property are in good hands.

“It was scary because I think it came awful close to the building… But what a fire department,” Carole said.

Crews expect the fire to be 100 percent contained by Friday night, but they will return on Saturday to mop up the remains.

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