Several fires keep fire crews busy all weekend

ROGUE VALLEY, Ore. – This weekend proved to be a busy one for fire crews throughout the Rogue Valley.

It began with an almost three-acre fire on Saturday near Merlin, north of Hog Creek County Park.

Fire officials said that the fire was on some tricky terrain for fire crews.

ODF PIO Natalie Weber said that the fire activity isn’t a surprise given how warm it was late last week.

“We’re not to the point where we are seeing that rapid growth because everything is still green, and so while we do have that risk, it’s not nearly what we’d see in August, however, we still want to prevent every fire from happening,” Weber said.

Also over the weekend, two different debris burns escaped containment and forced emergency crews to provide assistance.

Rural Metro responded to one in Grants Pass near Allendale Elementary School.

Firefighters said that the escaped debris burn impacted six different properties before firefighters could contain it.

Over in the Applegate area, one person was transferred to the hospital after another escaped open burn.

Firefighters said that they were able to contain it to a tenth of an acre, and the victim’s health status is unknown at this time.

A fire broke out along the Bear Creek Greenway on Sunday afternoon near the Charles Point Apartments in South Medford.

Firefighters said that they had trouble locating the fire at first, sending units to both sides of the creek, before finally locating it in some thick brush.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials say it’s possible it was a campfire.

If it was later in the year, Medford Fire said that it could’ve been a lot more dangerous for the crew.

“We discourage camping in the greenway when it’s fire season it’s extremely dangerous for everybody, and this is a prime area for another Almeda-type incident,” Medford Fire AIC Captain Lars Borosund said.

As we move toward more permanent warm temperatures, fire officials said that people should be aware of the fire risk that comes with those high temperatures.

Even though it’s cooler this week, Monday marks the beginning of Wildfire Awareness Month this May.

Firefighters recommend you prepare now by creating defensible space around your home.

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Ethan McReynolds is a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC5 News. He grew up in Bothell, Washington and graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Broadcasting and minors in Journalism and Sport Management. At Gonzaga, he started his own sports podcast. Ethan loves rooting for his hometown Seattle sports teams, especially the Mariners. He loves playing baseball, basketball, and soccer. He is also an avid Taylor Swift fan.
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