SEVERE WX: Fire Weather Watch - Air Quality Alert - Red Flag Warning View Alerts

Grants Pass Firefighters Knock Down Out-of-Hand Cookfire

A transient woman was cooking dinner over an open fire near the railroad tracks when the wind began spreading flames to nearby brush, according to authorities.

Posted: Jun. 13, 2018 4:11 PM
Updated: Jun. 13, 2018 4:19 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Firefighters in Grants Pass rushed to a runaway brush fire on Tuesday night, apparently caused by a transient woman's cookfire, according to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety (GPDPS).

GPDPS received a call about a fire burning in blackberry brambles near Booth Street and some railroad tracks just after 9 p.m. Firefighters and police arrived to find a "fast-moving" fire, driven by winds along the corridor of the railroad tracks.

Fire crews used wildland hose packs to knock the fire down, before mopping the fire up completely and scouring the area for any blowing embers.

A witness then told police officers that there was a woman hiding in some bushes nearby. Police found the woman, later identified as 49-year-old Sherry Matthies, a local transient.

In interviewing Matthies, police heard that she had been cooking dinner over an open fire when the wind took hold of the flames and spread them out of her control.

Matthies was arrested and lodged in the Josephine County jail on charges of Trespass 1 (for railroad property) and Reckless Burning.

GPDPS reminded the public in a statement that open burning inside of city limits is not allowed—aside from approved recreational fire pits.

Article Comments

Medford
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 67°
Brookings
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 57°
Crater Lake
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 56°
Grants Pass
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Klamath Falls
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 56°
Dense Smoke, More Thunderstorms Possible
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Latest Video

Image

VIDEO FORECAST: More Thunderstorms Possible Thursday

Image

HAZARDOUS AIR QUALITY PUSHES ACTIVITIES INDOORS

Image

Take a Hike: Mt. McLoughlin

Image

MEDFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT INSTALLS NEW DOORBELL SECURITY SYSTEMS

Image

Finding New Smoke in Smoke

Image

YOUTH PROGRAM AT RISK BECAUSE OF WILDFIRES

Image

Roofing in the Klamath Basin is Tough as Nails

Image

VIDEO FORECAST: Thunderstorm Chances Through This Evening

Image

Klamath Falls Roofers Work in Smoke-Filled Air

Image

Plant Tags

Community Events