Jack Fire burns 2,395 acres, Steamboat Inn prepared for worst

GLIDE, Ore. — As the Jack Fire continues to burn near Glide, one business in the area is preparing for the worst if the wildfire comes its way.

The Steamboat Inn located near the North Umpqua River is a historic hotel and restaurant.

It’s been in business since 1957 and the owner, Melinda Woodward, says it’s listed as a historic landmark. But right now, with the Jack Fire burning so close by, she says business is being affected.

“We evacuated all of our guests, even though we’re not in [direct] danger of the fire, we think it’s irresponsible to bring traffic to this area when firefighters are trying to do their job,” said Woodward.

Woodward says, normally, she’d be fully booked with guests this time of year – but she, and her inn, are no stranger to wildfires.

“There’s definitely a little PTSD, 5 of my employees lost their homes in the Archie Creek Fire last year and right now 2 of my employee’s homes are being threatened.”

She says the business has an evacuation plan if necessary.

With an emergency conflagration act in effect, firefighters from other Oregon counties are able to help protect structures in the area from the Jack Fire.

“We have a fire crew on-site doing structure protection, so we feel pretty protected right now,” she said.

Rich Tyler, a public information officer for the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office, says his team is working on the structure protection for the Steamboat Inn.

“The wildland crews are working on containment lines with a direct and indirect attack on the fire,” he said.

Tyler says dry conditions and a slight wind are making it tough to create a line around the fire. “We’re taking the time where we can assist with creating defensible space around those areas or where it’s feasible around the residence.”

Tyler says this reduces the chance of the fire getting to structures and prevents embers from getting close enough to spark anything up.

State Highway 138 from Steamboat Creek to milepost 55 remains closed to traffic.

Firefighters are using suppression tactics in hopes of establishing a fire line.

The cause remains under investigation.

NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology. In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she's not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.
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