Petition gathers nearly 1k signatures against Medford Almeda Fire sculpture

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.

RELATED: Artist to build sculpture in downtown Medford to honor Almeda fire victims

“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.

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Jenna King is the 6pm and 11pm anchor for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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