ashland.news
May 19, 2024

Early morning grass fire burned 8 acres east of Ashland

An aerial photo taken Thursday looking southwest toward Ashland shows the site of a fire early Wednesday along Dead Indian Memorial Road about 3 miles east of Ashland Municipal Airport. Alice Puderbaugh photo for Ashland.news
August 30, 2023

Large response to 3 a.m. call brought blaze under control before it could reach nearby houses

By Morgan Rothborne, Ashland.news

Firefighters were hard at work before dawn Wednesday knocking down a grass fire on Dead Indian Memorial Road.

The fire call came in at 3:06 a.m., and the first engines on scene immediately set to work defending nearby structures, said Fire District 5 Battalion Chief Jim Campbell.

“When the first engines arrived, it was burning against the wind up to the driveway — it became interesting for a couple seconds but they were able to take care of it pretty quickly,” he said.

A screen grab captured from a video posted by Riley Family Farm on the I (heart) Ashland Facebook page Wednesday morning shows the early-morning aftermath after a fire reported before dawn was extinguished by a swarm of firefighters from local agencies.

The grass fire at 2909 Dead Indian Memorial Road, almost 3 miles east of Ashland Municipal Airport, was near a couple of houses and several outbuildings, Campbell said. While firefighters were able to wet line the fire within 30 minutes, complete knock down was not achieved for close to four hours. The fire was 8.5 acres in size, he said.

A total of 13 resources responded to the blaze, six from Jackson County Fire District No. 5 and seven from mutual aid companies Oregon Department of Forestry, Medford Fire, and Ashland Fire & Rescue.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, he said. Firefighters were aided by early morning wind shifts, cooler temperatures and lower humidity levels. But Campbell cautioned valley residents to balance the “county-wide PTSD” from the Almeda Fire with the misconception that rain means its safe to burn. Fire season isn’t over yet and the grass is still dry, he said.

Email Ashland.news reporter Morgan Rothborne at morganr@ashland.news.

An aerial photo taken Thursday looking northwest shows the site of a fire early Wednesday along Dead Indian Memorial Road about 3 miles east of Ashland Municipal Airport. Alice Puderbaugh photo for Ashland.news
Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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