JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – A wildfire that started in a north Ashland community and swept through the communities of Talent and Phoenix is now 20% contained.
On Tuesday, September 8, the Almeda Fire started Tuesday near Glendower Street in Ashland. It quickly spread northward due to high winds. The flames traveled along the Bear Creek Greenway, destroying homes and businesses in Talent, Phoenix, and parts of south Medford before the fire slowed as it approached Culver Road. The City of Ashland remained largely unaffected by the fire.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Almeda Fire burned an estimated 600 homes and covered more than 3,000 acres.
On the morning of Friday, September 11, the Oregon State Fire Marshal said the Almeda Fire hasn’t grown and was 20% contained.
Firefighters were reportedly working inside the fireline to mitigate hazards like unstable structures and downed power lines.
The area inside and around the fire perimeter remains under a Level 3 evacuation notice. People who lived within the firelines are being told to stay out of the area as crews work to address hazardous conditions.
Highway 99 remains closed between the intersection of South Valley View Road and the intersection of South Stage Road.
Two deaths have been attributed to the Almeda Fire.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation and, for the moment, is considered “criminal” in nature, the Ashland Police Department said.