Update: Plans for a sculpture honoring Almeda Fire victims were put on pause after public controversy.
The city said over the past week, Rogue Valley residents voiced concerns about the look, size, and location of the statue. In response, the Medford City Council withdrew its financial support and is asking organizers to re-evaluate the sculpture and its location. The city released a statement saying in part: “Our goal with our action tonight is to support the continued healing of our friends and neighbors.”
Original story: MEDFORD, Ore. —A sculpture honoring Almeda fire victims, will soon be built in Medford. The project is called “Firestorm.” It’ll be located along Fifth and Riverside, in downtown Medford. The sculpture will also be lit up, to be seen from miles away.
A petition has already been organized against the project. One local woman, says the design is a visual reminder of the trauma, that many in the Rogue Valley have faced.
“It’s an exposure over and over again, a repeated reminder that there were lives lost in the Almeda Fire in addition to the structures but it is not how you bring healing to a group of people that have experienced great loss,” said petition organizer, Mandy Capehart.
The petition already has over 800 signatures. Capehart says she’s taking her signatures to the city council meeting, for their next meeting.