Scott Valley BankMEDFORD, Ore. — In response to the Boles Fire disaster, Scott Valley Bank is donating $10,000 to the Community Disaster Relief Fund administered by the Shasta Regional Community Foundation (SRCF). In addition to the $10,000 donation, Scott Valley Bank is making all of its branches available to receive cash donations to the SRCF Community Disaster Relief Fund for Boles Fire disaster restoration efforts.

Dan Taylor, EVP/Regional Director for the Bank says, “Our hearts go out to those families and businesses directly affected as they begin the painful process of salvaging memories from the ashes, restoring their lives, and returning to their jobs.  We extend our praise and appreciation to the brave firefighters who evacuated the community safely, and to all the volunteers who are responding in great numbers with the resilient spirit and drive of Siskiyou to assist in the restoration.”

Donations can also be made directly atwww.shastarcf.org/funds/community-disaster-relief-fund.

Boles fireWEED, Calif. — Dozens of Cal Fire personnel are assisting those residents today as they are let back into the devastated neighborhoods.

Hundreds of firefighters have been staged for hours this morning, preparing for what’s expected to be a very emotional day for many weed families. Cal Fire officials say they have been over the area several times to ensure safety.

The teams won’t have specific jobs, but they are there to help move heavy objects, answer questions, and keep a look out for remaining hot spots. Many of the firefighters have been out to disaster scenes like this in the past and they say sometimes the most important part of their job today is listening.

Robert Foxworthy, a Cal Fire PIO, says, “Sometimes people just want someone to talk to, and kind of discuss what’s going on and where they go from here so I do my best to talk to them about that.”

The humane society is also out in the neighborhoods today, picking up deceased animals. They are asking people who come across remains not to bury them immediately. The humane society is collecting all unidentified deceased animals and scanning their microchips to try and alert owners.

Antonio Gonzalez-Marquez CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshal’s service took Juan Antonio Gonzalez-Marquez (19), from Medford, into custody following a traffic stop.

Gonzalez-Marquez absconded from MacLaren Youth Correctional transitional program in Junction City, Oregon. Gonzalez-Marquez was originally sentenced as a juvenile for his involvement in the 2009 stabbing death of Marco Diaz. Gonzalez-Marquez is a documented Norteno gang member and has past arrests for assault, resisting arrest, and probation violations.

At the time of the traffic stop and arrest (September 18, 2014 at 6:30 p.m), Gonzalez-Marquez had two small baggies of methamphetamine in his pocket. A Medford Police officer transported Gonzalez-Marquez to the Jackson County Jail.

He was lodged for his warrants and possession of methamphetamine.

RubbleWEED, Calif. — Weed residents are about to get a first-hand look at the damage done to their community.

At 10 a.m. they will be let back in to their neighborhoods for the first time since the Boles Fire broke out. The Boles Fire is holding at 479 acres, and so far crews have managed 85 percent containment.

On Friday, people who’ve been kept out of their neighborhoods since the Boles Fire came through are finally going to be walking back on their properties. Some in this Angel Valley community will be coming back home for good, while others will be sifting through the ashes left behind. Cal Fire announced the re-population plan at Thursday night’s community meeting.

They’ll be opening up the road for residents only at 10 a.m. For the past few days, fire crews have been busy searching through these neighborhoods to get an assessment of the damage. Residents finally got to see the results at Thursday night’s meeting. Even those who already knew what happened to their houses, based on nothing more than their location, struggled to hold back their reactions.

“It hurt seeing it like that. That was our dream house we built,” said Carl Mitchell, one of the victims who lost his home.

Spokespeople with Cal Fire says their assessments are now 95 percent done, with only a little bit of work left Friday morning.

KITTY!@@!@@@!!@@@!!!!WEED, Calif. — The few surviving mementos aren’t the only thing to come from the ashes.

In the early morning hours, during news coverage, two of our team members found an 11 week-old kitten hiding under a pile of debris. Her paws were scorched and she was very hungry and thirsty.

NewsWatch 12 brought the kitten, temporarily named “Lil’ Smokey” to the Siskiyou Humane Society. Turns out, her owners had been searching for her and the two were reunited after just a few days being apart.

Sonia Ferguson, the owner of the cat, says, “We went home, not home but we went to a friend’s house and we went online and they said they found her and it was NewsWatch12 that found her, so I’m happy.”

Sonia’s family lost their entire home in the Boles Fire, she says she is just happy her kitten “Luna,” with the new middle name “Ember,” is safe.

People missing and finding pets since the fire are connecting on Facebook. The page is named “Reuniting the City of Weed Animals.

Habitat for HumanityMEDFORD, Ore. — More than 16% of Jackson County residents live in poverty, and Habitat for Humanity is working to improve the living conditions of those families.

In the past year, the organization began building their 50th and 51st home in the Rogue Valley, and it seems the kids of those families are as thankful as anyone for the impact it has on their lives.

Anyone can support habitat’s effort by shopping at the ReStore in south Medford, volunteering time to help build houses, and donating supplies and money directly to Rogue Valley Habitat.

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WEATHER DISCUSSION


The cooler weather from Thursday didn’t last long. High pressure will slide in today, as a “rex block” sits over the West. This pattern in the jet stream brings offshore winds to the coast, enhancing the Chetco Effect and warming up all coastal communities.

Inland, this means hot and dry weather returns. We’ll stay warm and summer-like across the valleys through Sunday. With winds being out of the Northeast today, smoke will clear out of inland locations. Air quality readings have already reflected this and all of our reporting stations are reporting good conditions. The I-5 corridor in Sikiyou County should stay this way until Saturday night when winds begin to shift back to the SSW.

Early next week another longwave trough will enter the West. This is going to bump our temperatures down and open up the storm door. A potent low pressure system will head our way Wednesday. Temperatures will be below seasonal by Wednesday. This disturbance could bring wetting rains to much of the area, allowing fire crews to get the upper hand on the existing fires. For now, let’s keep our fingers crossed this happens. The fire danger level remains at extreme for Jackson and Josephine Counties.

For fire updates, air quality and more head over to Facebook and/or Twitter.

Meteorologist Alyssa Caroprese

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NEAR GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Onion Mountain Fire is holding steady at 4,077 acres at 20 percent contained.  Fire crews said the fire is 100 percent lined, but with more hot dry weather ahead, they are not ruling out the chance the fire spreading again.

As of Friday morning, evacuation levels have been removed for all of Riverbanks and Limpy Creek Roads. The following areas are still under a level one evacuation notice:

  1. Picket Creek
  2. Shan Creek
  3. Taylor Creek
  4. Galice Creek

Fire experts said the onion mountain fire shares several similarities with the boles fire.

“Both burned extremely erratic with rapid fire growth, but in this case this fire was not close to any homes, the fire in Weed was so close to the populated area it took the homes,” said Link Smith, Agency Administrator on the Onion Mountain Fire.

Smith said if the fire does get any closer to homes, it could do the same amount of damage.

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — For the last few years, Priscilla Anderson coached her daughter Zaruba in cross country.

“When I realized I loved it so much and my kids saw me doing it and wanting to go out a little bit, I thought, ‘well, we’ll try,’” Priscilla said. “And yeah, about four years ago, I got my kids involved in running.”

At the time, Zaruba was 11. That’s the same age Priscilla was when she started running. Now, Priscilla runs marathons.

“She can be my mom and run with me but also be my coach and train me,” Zaruba said.

It helps having Priscilla as a coach. It’s also nice to have running guru Stan Goodell as Hidden Valley’s head coach.

“He’s an awesome coach,” Zaruba said. “One of his nicknames is ‘the Legend.’”

Goodell coaches Zaruba now, but he also coached Priscilla going all the way back to when she started running.

“Coaching two different generations of runners. It’s pretty much a very unique situation,” Goodell said. “Priscilla ran for me. I coach her now so she knows my philosophy. She knows my training pattern so it works well, and it goes hand-in-hand.”

Goodell still coaches Priscilla in her marathon training and maybe one day, he’ll do the same for Zaruba.

“I’ve thought about running marathons, but then seeing her do it, and then when she’s running, my family, we try to meet her at certain points, like halfway and then a couple miles before the finish line and then just seeing her run and continue running, it’s very inspiring,” Zaruba said.

“I loved it, and it’s a lot of fun seeing her love it as much,” Priscilla said. “It really is. I mean, I look at her and I see me.”

Zaruba sees an inspiration, Priscilla sees here self, and Stan Goodell sees two generations of elite runners.

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

Rain showers ended around the area sooner than anticipated, and the clouds began to break throughout the afternoon Thursday.  That afternoon sunshine will continue for Friday after a few clouds move through Thursday night.  Over the past couple of days, measurable rain did fall in some locations, but from about I-5 eastward, rainfall amounts dwindled drastically.

A few of the rainfall amounts from around the area.

Along the coast, we saw the highest amounts.  Just northeast of Brookings, one station recorded over an inch.  Near the Onion Mountain Lookout, a weather station nearby reported nearly half an inch, which did help with the fire fight, but in northern California, very little rain fell near the Happy Camp Complex and the Boles Fire.

Weekend temperatures will be warm, and while winds aloft blow from the north Friday, they will shift to the southeast by the weekend.  That means smoke from the Happy Camp Complex will return to southern Oregon again by Saturday – that’s in addition to the smoke from the Onion Mountain Fire.  Fall officially begins on Tuesday, just in time for another cold front to move through and drop temperatures to a more seasonable number.

For more information, or to send me your weather pictures, head over to Facebook or Twitter.

Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna

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