Talent residents return home to see what’s left, after Almeda Fire

TALENT, Ore. — Residents in Talent packed their bags, some with just minutes notice, as a fire quickly spread north from Ashland. The Almeda Fire forced Talent residents to make quick decisions Tuesday, no one wants to make.

“When we realized that we needed to evacuate, we didn’t have time to get all the stuff from our apartment. We got all the animals out, but that was really it,” Aiden Reynolds, Talent resident, said.

The fire spread north from Ashland in the early afternoon, forcing evacuations and destroying homes and businesses in it’s wake.

“It’s going to take a lot of time to recover from. I just hope everybody got out safe. That they’re with their family. That’s all that really matters,” Aiden Reynolds, Talent resident, said.

But even surrounded by rubble, residents agreed, you can replace things, but not people.

The damage left by the Almeda Fire varies greatly from street to street. Some buildings are intact. Others are unrecognizable. With so many roads closed off, a lot of people simply don’t know if their home survived.

“Went to school in Phoenix, and been here my whole life basically and I’ve never really seen anything this,” Tracy Adams, Phoenix resident, said.

“All these wonderful places and super people, that have lost everything,” Lin Robbins, Talent resident, said.

While the town heals physically and emotionally, local residents are taking the first step towards some sort of healing, after suffering the unimaginable.

“It’s pretty devastating what’s happened here in Talent, so you know, my prayers go out to everybody involved in this,” Tracy Adams, Phoenix resident, said.

Firefighters in Talent are still fighting flare-ups throughout the city.

Anna Weeks is the anchor of NBC5 News at 5 and 11 and Your Place @7 with Anna Weeks. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oregon State University with a degree in Digital Communication Arts and a minor in writing. Previously, she interned with the National Association of Broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Originally from the Portland area, Anna loves exploring Southern Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, and watching sports.
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