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Escaped burn piles happening early and often, fire agencies say

Firefighters have already responded to a number of out-of-control burn piles this week.

Posted: May. 7, 2019 12:39 PM

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Just within the morning hours on Tuesday, fire agencies across Jackson County reported responding to a number of escaped burn piles — a theme present on Monday as well.

At 10 a.m., crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Fire District 3 (FD3) and Medford Fire-Rescue (MFR) responded to a brush fire in the 3900-block of Corey Road in Central Point caused by an escaped burn "that was quickly spreading." Firefighters were able to stop the fire at one-tenth of an acre, saving a nearby mobile home. No one was injured in the fire.

"However, this is the fourth escaped burn our crews have responded to the in the past 24 hours," ODF said in a post. "While burning is still allowed and today is a burn day, please be mindful of the conditions, and your burn piles. We ask that you always have a hose nearby, and if you begin to feel the burn is no longer safe or spreading, please put it out. After you've extinguished your pile, check back on it throughout the afternoon to ensure it doesn't flare up again."

MFR acknowledged the rash of escaped burns and provided a list of safety tips for burning:

  • Maximum pile size 4 foot in diameter.
  • Clear all flammable material and vegetation within 10-feet of the outer edge of pile.
  • Keep a water supply close to the burning site.
  • An adult should be in attendance with a shovel until the fire is out.
  • No burning shall be undertaken unless weather conditions (particularly wind) are such that burning can be considered safe.

Also on Tuesday, Ashland Fire & Rescue announced that the City had suspended burns for the rest of the season unless the area sees substantial rains before the official start of fire season.

Before responding to the Corey Road fire, FD3 responded to a structure fire on Looking Glass Way in Central Point, but were able to contain the flames to the attic of the building. Everyone escaped the two-story home without injury.

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