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Fire Between Whittle Ave and Corona Ave

20140717_182901_resizedMEDFORD, Ore. — Initial reports from Medford Police say heavy machinery may have been the cause of a grass fire between Whittle Avenue and Corona Avenue that was knocked down in less than an hour.

The fire began near Best Buy just after 6 p.m. on Thursday evening. Police say the fire was threatening several homes and a structure on Steelhead Run Drive, and police evacuated several buildings. Fire officials are still looking into the official cause of the fire, but they say it was likely accidental, and it likely sparked from the use of a large machine harvesting what they believe is barley.

The fire reached just over three and a half acres and a large piece of machinery also caught fire as a result.

Fire investigators say the land is owned by the Medford Airport, but was leased out. They are also investigating if agricultural is a legal use of the land.