pytcSOUTHWEST, Ore. – Greeensprings Fire is reporting that one home on South Copco Road was destroyed by the Oregon Gulch Fire and 170 homes remain threatened.

The Oregon Department of Forestry released an update Friday that states what’s being called The Beaver Complex now consists of the Salt Creek Fire and the Oregon Gulch Fire. The Oregon Gulch Fire grew rapidly and is now estimated at 11,000 acres. The Salt Creek Fire grew very little overnight and is currently at 108 acres.

Both fires were caused by lightning from thunderstorms that moved through the area over the last few days. ODF reports that due to the complexity of the Oregon Gulch Fire, a unified command management structure with Oregon Department of Forestry, CAL Fire and Oregon State Fire Marshall’s office will be established.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office issued a Level 3 evacuation order Thursday evening for homes near Oregon Gulch Fire, specifically near Copco Rd. the 6,000 block to the Oregon border.

Below is information released from the Oregon Department of Forestry on these two fires.

Salt Creek Fire

The east side of the fire has been lined using a bulldozer. Also, hose used to transport water to the fireline will be installed and mop up will begin.  The west side of the fire is more problematic for fire personnel due to the steep terrain, making it difficult for personnel to work along the fireline directly.  Roads near the west side of the fire will be cleared to help create better access.

Oregon Gulch Fire

This fire was integrated into Beaver Complex yesterday afternoon.  The fire is burning in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.  The fire grew rapidly, crossing into Klamath County in Oregon and crossing over the Oregon-California border early last evening.  Resource advisors from Bureau of Land Management have been dispatched to the fire to assist with minimizing the effects of fire suppression activity within the Monument.  Fire growth is expected to move in a southeast direction.  The number of structures threatened is 170.  Multiple outbuildings were destroyed.  Fire personnel from California, Bureau of Land Management, and various structural fire departments are assisting with fire suppression and structural protection.

Contreras,SantiagoMEDFORD, Ore. — Detectives from the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Agency (MADGE) arrested 32-year old Santiago Martinez-Contreras on Thursday evening after a yearlong investigation.

The investigation concluded when detectives received information on Contreras’ whereabouts. MADGE Officer Rob Havice stopped the suspect in a vehicle on Crater Lake HWY near Interstate 5. Officer Havice ‘s narcotics detection canine “Narc” alerted on the vehicle and officers conducted a search.

The search revealed over eight ounces of meth, 71 grams of heroin, and $11,711 in cash. All of this evidence was seized and Contreras was arrested and lodged in the Jackson County Jail. He’s facing charges of possession, manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine, possession and delivering of heroin. His bail is set at $1,040,000.

pcthikers.previewYREKA, Ca. — Officials with the Klamath National Forest are reporting Friday that two lightning caused wildfires are prompting them to close portions of trails on the Klamath National Forest, including Shackleford Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. The closures are necessary for trail user safety as well as fire fighter safety during effort to suppress wildfires.

The Shackleford Trail is in close proximity to the Log Fire, which is estimated to be at 317 acres. It’s burning in the Shackleford Creek and Mill Creek drainage west of Fort Jones, Ca. Starting Friday, Shackleford Rd. will be closed from mile marker one to its terminus at the Shackleford Trailhead.

The Whites Fire, estimated at 1,300 acres in size is close to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and a number of trails feeding into the PCT. Therefore, according to the Klamath National Forest, the following trails will be closed:

  1. PCT (Forest Trail 2000) is closed from its junction with County Road 1C02 at Carter Meadows Summit north to its junction with County Road 1C01 at Etna Summit.
  2. Trail Creek Trail (Forest Trail No. 5521) from Forest Road 39N06 to it junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (Forest Trail 2000).
  3. Deacon Lee Trail (Forest Trail No. 5436 and 5519) from the Deacon Lee Trailhead to its junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (Forest Trail 2000).
  4. East Whites Trail (Forest Trail No. 5446) from the Timber Camp Trailhead to its junction with the Deacon Lee Trail (Forest Trail No. 5436).
  5. South Russian Creek Trail (Forest Trail No. 5453) from the South Russian Trailhead to its junction with the Deacon Lee Trail (Forest Trail No. 5436).
  6. Horse Range Trail (forest Trail No. 5450) from the Music Creek Trailhead to its junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (Forest Trail 2000).
  7. Taylor Lake Trail (Forest Trail No. 5439) from the Taylor Lake Trailhead to its terminus at Taylor Lake.
  8. Hogan Lake Trail (Forest Trail No. 5451) from its junction with the Taylor Lake Trail (Forest Trail No. 5439) to its terminus at Hogan Lake

Maps and description of the closed trails are available at the Klamath National Forest offices in Yreka, Fort Jones, Happy Camp, and Macdoel, CA as well as online at


Police-Lights-22-250x169NEAR TULELAKE, Ore. — Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office report a plane crashed Friday morning a few miles west of Tulelake on Eastwest Road.

Sheriff’s deputies received a report of a crash at approximately 9:15 a.m.. Upon arrival, deputies confirmed that the pilot, 58-year-old William Whitlatch from Klamath Falls, was deceased. The plane was a crop duster and did have pesticides on board; Siskiyou County Public Health has been advised.

The Sheriff’s Office is advising the public to stay clear of the area due to downed power lines and other dangers. The FAA has been notified of the crash and will be assisting the SCSO in the investigation of incident.

cal fire hot noteYREKA, Ca. — The Oregon Gulch Fire has spread across the Oregon/California border and is now burning 1,000 acres on California land and is still at zero containment. CAL Fire in Yreka has joined the firefight on their side of the border and are meeting with the Oregon Department of Forestry today.

CAL Fire has 6 bulldozers, 10 engines and air support. Precautionary (Level 1) evacuation from the Oregon border to Camp Creek Rd. has been issued. Because resources are stretched thin, crews from Southern California are coming up to help fight the fire.

A fire camp will be set up at Yreka High School Friday evening and on Saturday to house equipment and fire crews. This camp will be supporting crews responding to several incidents.

Tune in tonight on NewsWatch 12 at 5 & 6 to see the California side of this fire that is growing through two states.


CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Central Point Police arrested a man, accused of breaking  into Crater High School on Wednesday night.

Video evidence showed an adult male in his late twenties had accessed several areas of the Crater High School gym on Wednesday night. Police say he had entered an unsecured door in the gym during the evening hours, stayed for an undetermined amount of time, and left prior to staff arriving for work in the morning.

Officers immediately recognized the male suspect as Bradley Lewis Maerz, who police say is known in the Central Point area. Nothing of value was taken, but Central Point Police say $1,500.00 of damage had been done in the school.

Maerz was taken into custody by police on Thursday and was lodged at the Jackson County Jail on charges of Burglary II, Criminal Mischief I and Trespass I.

cnn jobs(CNN) — After a gangbusters jobs growth in June, hiring slowed to a less impressive pace in July. The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July. But that is down from 298,000 in June.

The unemployment rate rose for the first time since February to 6.2 percent, up from 6.1 percent in June.

Stabile,GregoryMEDFORD, Ore. — Medford Police and Medford Fire and Rescue responded to a structure fire behind the 1100 block of West 9th Street on Thursday evening. Witnesses told police they saw the suspect light the fire from the 8th Street side, and then he walked away.

Witnesses tried to put out the fire with a garden hose. Later, the suspect returned to the scene with a 6-year old girl on a scooter who is the suspect’s girlfriend’s daughter. Police suspect he was taking the 6-year old girl somewhere but also using her as a distraction, but witnesses recognized him and then called 911.

An MPD detective happened to be driving by and saw the witness running after the suspect and stopped to assist. The male was detained in the parking lot of Jackson County Parole and Probation. Police say Gregory Stabile, 29, was identified as the suspect and was arrested. The 6-year-old was returned to her mother. Police believe the arson was a random act. It caused damage to two structures as well as a fence.

Police are considering Stabile as a suspect in the dozens of other unsolved arson cases. Debra Johns, who was arrested last Thursday for Arson, is still considered a suspect as well.

Stabile is sitting in the Jackson County Jail without bail.

SOUTHWEST, Ore. — Below is a list of fires burning our region with acreage, containment levels, location and any evacuations you need to be aware of. This is frequently updated, please check back for updates.

The Beaver Complex containing: 

  1. The Oregon Gulch Fire - Cascade-Siskiyou Nat’l Monument – 11,00 acres – Lightning caused - Level 3 evacuations for Copco Road.
  2. The Salt Creek Fire – Wimer – 108 acres – 0% contained – 150 personnel

The Pumice Complex – Crater Lake National Park – Lightning caused – 28.5 acres – 75% contained – 178 personnel on the firefight.

The Launch Fire – Fourmile Lake – 42 acres – 75% contained – human caused – 150 personnel

The Wagner #1 Fire - Talent – 8 acres –  no containment level at this time – lightning caused

Reeves Creek Fire - Selma – 204 acres – 75% contained – in mop up phases now

Klamath National Forest/CAL Fire Jurisdiction

The Whites Fire – 1,300 acres

Beaver Fire – 600 acres

Little Deer Fire – 200-300 acres

The Leef Fire – 15 acres

Log Fire – 317 acres

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After three very active days, things will quiet down periodically. Storms today will only be east of the Cascades and very isolated. Also, from Crater Lake north and east storms will develop. Elsewhere, it will be a quiet day with mostly sunny skies but hot temperatures.

We’ll again be warming into the triple digits for the valleys. This will be the 14th triple digit day this calendar year. Typically we average about 9. The most we’ve ever had in a year is 23 from 1990. We ended July as the warmest month on record breaking numerous records in regards to temperatures.

Isolated storms will return to include the Cascades and Northern California throughout the weekend. A fire weather watch is in effect for the Basin Saturday afternoon and evening. Storms will likely continue into next week, being isolated to scattered depending on the day. They do look to finally come to an end between Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Dry and quiet weather will then be ongoing. The heat does not appear to break anytime soon, and highs near 100 will last through next week.

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Meteorologist Alyssa Caroprese

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