TALENT, Ore. — Most people in the Talent-Phoenix areas evacuated their homes as the Almeda Fire raged through burning everything in its path.
“There was fire all the way around us,” Talent resident, Alan Patton, said. “It was very intense. It was emotional because we didn’t know if we were going to be able to stop it,” he added.
Patton has lived in the Rogue Valley his entire life and has been in Talent for the last five years with his wife and four children.
When the Almeda Fire started moving close to his home, he chose to stay and fight.
“I’m not going to run into any burning houses or anything like that. There was never a time I felt like this could be it or whatever. There was always a way out and I never put myself in a situation where I felt like I was going to be stuck,” Patton said.
He and and a few neighbors fought the fire doing all they could, cutting bushes, dousing trees, roofs and fences, protecting everything they could reach until the firefighters arrived and then stayed to help even more.
“They had more hoses than they had firefighters, so there were hoses laying in the street and we’d pick ’em up and start spraying houses,” he said.
One dozen homes in that neighborhood were salvaged, including Patton’s, but he doesn’t consider himself a hero.
“It happened so quick, it was just a go-mode. I wasn’t trying to be like a hero or anything, I was just trying to do what was right,” Patton said.
His daughters have been volunteering by setting up a donation center at The Home Depot.
NBC5 News reporter/weather forecaster Aaron Nilsson is a Southern California native, but most recently lived in Seattle. He’s also lived in Sweden and Utah. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Scandinavian Studies. While at BYU, he covered sports for BYUtv.
Aaron is not new to the Medford/Klamath Falls market. He was a local TV journalist from 2013-2017.
Outside the station, Aaron enjoys music, traveling, sports, movies, and cooking. His favorite sport is soccer.