Pacifica Fire Prompts Evacuations

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NEAR WILLIAMS, Ore. — Crews from all over the Rogue Valley are once again working together to battle a wildfire in the Williams area between Jacksonville and Grants Pass; the fire is prompting evacuations.

There’s a dozer line around 75% of the fire. Four dozers are on site. The listed losses from the fire include 1 house; 1 business shop; 2 cars; 1 camp trailer.

One firefighter is being treated for heat exhaustion. One civilian reportedly sought medical attention – reason unknown. The Red Cross says if you’re evacuating and you have animals, you are asked to kennel your animals and bring them with you to the evacuation site, while the Red Cross looks for a more suitable area to house evacuated animals.

Areas of evacuation:

1200 block of Lower Powell Creek Rd.
14000-16000 block of Williams Hwy.

Watergap Road residents are being allowed to return to their homes, provided they have photo ID.

Josephine County Emergency Services have set up a call center for citizens to receive information on evacuation and shelters: 541-474-5305.

American Red Cross is providing emergency shelter facilities at the Josephine County Fairgrounds located 1451 Fairgrounds Rd. off Hwy. 199. The American Red Cross says accommodations, food and emotional support is a available at the shelter.

Josephine County Emergency Services say to only call 9-1-1 if you have an emergency.

At 5:17 p.m., Governor John Kitzhaber declared the Pacifica Fire a conflagration. The declaration authorized the state fire marshal to mobilize structural firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire and working to protect structures.

The request for the conflagration was made by Josephine Fire Defense Board Chief Dan Petersen. The fire is approximately 500 acres. Approximately 150 homes are threatened. A voluntary evacuation is underway. The state fire marshal office has activated command and control elements of the Blue Incident Management team to manage the structural protection resources that have been deployed.

Josephine County Airports Manager Larry Graves says helicopter attack refueling operations are taking place at Grants Pass Airport on the WEST side of the field, as the Interagency Fire Center helipad is closed due to all personnel being out on the fire. Graves says to announce all intentions on 122.8. Graves urges using extreme caution when operating in and around the area of Grants Pass Airport this afternoon and evening, and stay aware of your surroundings.

This is cell phone video provided by a viewer:

Structural task forces from Lane and Linn counties are on their way to the fire tonight. Two more task forces are scheduled to leave Saturday morning to assist with structural protection.

NewsWatch12’s chief meteorologist Dan Pope reports there are two weather stations in the Williams area. One to the North about one mile is showing 92 degrees, 23% humidity. Wind NW 10 Gusting to 17 mph. The other weather station is two miles south, and has a wind from the South Southwest at 2 gusting to 6 mph (this weather station is more sheltered).

He says the winds in the area of the fire are going to be swirling in different directions. Any winds that are gusting from 10 to 17 mph are a problem for the dry grass and trees in the area of the fire.