7-30 evac prepASHLAND, Ore. – In light of stormy conditions and numerous fire starts in the area, Ashland Fire & Rescue is advising all residents to prepare for evacuation, even those who don’t live near any of the areas being affected.

Spokespeople with the department say those who wait until an evacuation notice is issued often forget important items. They advise all residents to have a meet-up place in mind, have a pack with food and supplies for up to 72-hours, keep a full tank of gas in the car, and have all important insurance documents in-hand.

They also say to pack other things well in advance just in case.

“Any medications, medications aren’t easy to come by, especially if they’re prescription. You probably want to make sure you have a charger for your electronic devices,” said Division Chief Margueritte Hickman.

If you have any questions about evacuations, Ashland Fire & Rescue operates a 24-hour hotline.

That can be reached at 541-552-2490 or online at www.ashlandcert.org.

talent fireSOUTHWEST OF TALENT, Ore.– In just over the last hour we are getting several reports of new fires in areas of Talent and the Applegate area. There are currently evacuation orders in effect for people in the Wagner Creek and Anderson Butte areas. Anyone working or living in the area of Wagner Creek Road between mile marker 11 and 12 needs to leave.



Fire StockMEDFORD, Ore. — Officials at the U.S. Forest Service are reporting that from fire lookouts and aerial reconnaissance done this morning, they have identified thirty four confirmed fires have ignited on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest as a result of Tuesday’s thunderstorms in the area.  The starts are located on the Siskiyou Mountains and High Cascades Ranger Districts.

Twenty eight fires are located on the High Cascades Ranger District with concentrations of new starts in the Rustler Peak, southern Sky Lakes Wilderness and Griffin Pass areas.  The largest of these fires is the Camp Creek Fire near the Rustler Lookout estimated to be 10 to 15 acres in size.  There are currently engines, hand crews and a helicopter working this fire, with air tankers on order.  The other fires are holding at less than an acre in size and are being staffed with rappelers, hand crews and engines at this time.

On the Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District six fires are located within or near the Ashland Municipal Watershed.  All of these fires are staffed and reported at less than an acre in size.

Lookouts and reconnaissance aircraft continue to watch for additional starts from Tuesday’s storms.  A Red Flag Warning is in effect this afternoon and evening for the southern Cascades and Siskiyou’s for additional lightning.

The forests of southwest Oregon are experiencing tinder dry conditions and are extremely combustible.  Firefighters want to remind the public that human caused fires are preventable.  Please be aware of current fire restrictions and be careful with anything that could spark a fire.


7-29 ROB WEB FIREKLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The “Launch” Fire near Fourmile lake is still burning and is gaining heavy fuels because the area is covered with snags and spot fires are occurring. Fire crews are continuing to work on a containment line and also working indirect areas to mitigate hazards.

The following special restrictions and prohibitions are remaining on all  Forest roads, trails, and within the specific area on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, Klamath Ranger District as ordered by the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership Team: Forest Trail 993 (Twin Ponds Trail,) from its intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail to its intersection with Forest Road 3661 at Four Mile Lake Campground. Forest Trail 3759 (Badger Lake Trail,) from its intersection with Forest Road 3661-560 to its intersection with south boundary of the Sky Lakes Wilderness. Forest Trail 3712 (Lost Lake Trail,) from its intersection with the Sky Creek Wilderness boundary to its intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail. Four Mile Lake Campground is closed.

In addition the Great Meadows Sno-Park has been closed for public safety as it is being used as a helibase for the incident helicopters to refuel.

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FOURMILE LAKE, Ore. – An off-duty firefighter staged near the Launch Fire at Fourmile Lake died Tuesday night in what officials are calling accidental in nature.

According to Sgt. Darren Frank at the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, 21-year old Matthew David Goodnature, of Phoenix, Oregon was taking a walk away from his fire camp at about 6:30 p.m. when the accident happened.

Detective Nick Kennedy with the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case, and said he cannot draw any conclusions until his investigation is done. However, it appears that Goodnature tripped on a large rock and fell backwards. Scruff marks and other traces indicated Goodnature fell on a log, breaking his lower back.

He says little other information is available because nobody was near the scene at the time.

“We’re looking at all the information we can get at this point in time,” said Kennedy. “We’ve done interviews with all of the people in his fire crew that were out there.”

According to investigators, crews realized Goodnature was missing after doing a headcount at camp. They then conducted a grid search, finding him more than three hours after what is believed to be the time of the accident.

X-rays are being done and an autopsy will reveal exactly what happened later this week. Right now there is no evidence of foul play.

Goodnature worked for Pacific Oasis Wildland Firefighting out of Ashland. The Phoenix Police Department have notified next of kin.

gunmanGRANTS PASS, Ore. — A Rogue Community College security officer at the Redwood Campus in Grants Pass was allegedly assaulted Tuesday night and Oregon State Police are investigating it. The officer said she was injured by an unknown assailant while on patrol on campus.

On July 29, at about 10:15 p.m., OSP Southern Command Center dispatch received information of shots heard near the soccer field at RCC. About seven minutes later, OSP received another report of an alleged assault to a female security officer at the community college.

Two OSP troopers and medical personnel arrived on scene about fifteen minutes later. A trooper contacted security guard Venise Hollinshead, 37, who works for Tac-One Security. Hollinshead said she was standing outside when an unknown male approached her from behind and struck her in the head. To protect herself, she initially tried to pepper spray the alleged assailant who grabbed at her gun in a holster. During the struggle for the firearm, a round was discharged before the suspect fled on foot toward the track field into a wooded area.

Hollinshead said she fired two rounds from her handgun as the suspect was fleeing. The suspect is described as a 6-foot tall male wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark clothing. Hollinshead was transported by ambulance to Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass for minor cuts and scrapes.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call OSP Southern Command Center dispatch at (541) 776-6111. 

reeves creek wednesdaySELMA, Ore. – Tuesday night, fire crews were confident that the Reeves Creek Fire burning near Selma would soon be fully contained. By Wednesday morning, the forecast had them less confident.

The fire, which has burned 230 acres, was listed at 90 percent containment Tuesday night, but was downgraded to 50 percent containment Wednesday. Fire crews said the fire activity has decreased dramatically, and the fire is fully lined, but possible winds in the forecast could impact the firefight.

There are still areas within the fire lines that have unburned material, according to Brian Ballou, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry. Ballou said if winds increase, they could carry burning embers into that dry fuel.

Hand crews will remain on scene to strengthen fire lines and douse hot spots. The helicopters used on the fire earlier this week are on standby in case the Reeves Creek Fire flares back up or if another fire is sparked in the region.

The level 1 evacuation notice for Wild Park Lane has been cancelled, according to the Illinois Valley Fire Department. It means people living in that area do not have to be ready to leave.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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Medford, Ore. — Rogue Valley mothers are coming together as part of an international event to raise awareness for breastfeeding.

The Big Latch On 2014 is calling for nursing mothers worldwide to nurse their children at the same time.  All of the breastfeeding women and children are latched on for one minute at a set time.  They are then counted by witnesses to see if they can beat the previous Big Latch On records.

The goal of the event is to support nursing mothers and raise awareness about the benefits of nursing.

You can take part by heading to Providence Medford Medical Center on Friday at 10 a.m.  The hospital says you should go to the main lobby and follow the balloons to Mary Norbert Hall.

stock_fox_animalJUNCTION CITY, Ore. — The first case of rabies so far this year in Lane County has been confirmed.

Lane County Public Health says a fox found near a residence in Junction City tested positive for rabies. It is the first animal to test positive for rabies in Oregon this year.

The fox was brought to a wildlife center in Corvallis on Friday. The Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory tested for rabies and says the results came back positive. The Centers for Disease Control is currently testing to see which strain of rabies the fox had, but will likely not know the results until the end of the week. The fox was euthanized. 

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife believes that this is an isolated case and that the fox came in contact with a rabid bat.

KEZI 9 News spoke with a Corvallis veterinarian, who says rabies is a lethal virus that affects the neurological system in mammals.

“There have been a few reported cases of people and animals surviving rabies, but it is very, very rare,” said Steve Amsberry, the owner of West Hills Animal Hospital and the President of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association.

Amsberry says despite the rabid fox case in Lane County, he says nobody should panic.

“Rabies is very rare, but there are really simple things to do such as the vaccination of pets and decrease your exposure to wildlife that is acting abnormal in any way.”

He says rabies is contracted through saliva.

“So if there is a bite wound, that bite wound needs to be cleaned out with soap and water as soon as possible and you need to contact your veterinarian.”

This is the first report of a rabid fox in Lane County since the 1960s.

“Don’t feed wild animals,” Amsberry said. “You don’t want to encourage them to be around in your living space because you just don’t know. So an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Rabies symptoms in wildlife, particularly foxes and raccoons, include lethargy, walking in circles, convulsions, aggressiveness, excessive drooling of saliva, and showing no fear of humans.

However, according to the ODFW, a common stereotype of an animal with rabies is vicious and snarls like the dog in the movie “Old Yeller.” However, the ODFW says an animal with rabies is dying and is more likely to curl up in a ball before it goes into a coma. But that does not mean precautions should not be taken if anything unusual is noticed.

“Any animal that appears to have abnormal behavior, especially a wild animal that’s out during the day – just don’t go there,” Amsberry said. “Don’t touch them; don’t go near them.”

Wildlife experts do not think people should be concerned about the rabid fox case, but if anyone sees a sick animal in the wild, call the nearest ODFW office to respond.

7-29-Ethiopia-AthleteEUGENE, Ore. — The fourth Ethiopian athlete who went missing at the the World Junior Track and Field Championships is safe.

The University of Oregon Police Department says it found Zeyituna Mohammed in Federal Way, Washington. She was at the residence of an acquaintance.

She went missing with three other teammates. They were found in Beaverton. UOPD says all of the missing persons cases are now closed.

Officers say their only interest was making sure the athletes were safe. All four had a valid visa.

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