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Downed power lines cause multiple fires in Josephine County

One lane was blocked near the 3100 block of Rogue River highway due to the downed lines and fires.

Posted: Jul 13, 2020 7:35 AM
Updated: Jul 13, 2020 12:06 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore -- Fire crews put out multiple small fires started by a downed power line along Rogue River Highway on Monday morning.

Rural Metro firefighters responded to the 3100-block of Rogue River highway just south of Grants Pass around 6 a.m. Monday morning. One lane was blocked while crews responded, causing delays.

The Oregon Department of Transportation also said that a power line blocked the highway at Rock Point Bridge near Gold Hill. Pacific Power crews responded to both locations to repair the downed lines.

More than two thousand people in Grants Pass were without power on Monday morning, according to Pacific Power.

Rural Metro later said that none of the fires spread to structures, having started in green vegetation.

"Rogue River Hwy just east of Grants Pass, was shut down completely to ensure safety of passing motorists, and to prevent well-intended civilians from stopping to throw dirt on the burning powerlines," the agency said. "Once in position, firefighters monitored the area around nearby homes until the power was shut down by Pacific Power."

ODOT told Newswatch 12 that flaggers were in place near Peckerwood lane to direct traffic through the area.

This is a developing story and this post will be updated with more details as they emerge. 

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