UPDATE: Penninger Fire Burns 97 acres, 100 Percent Contained

A fire at the Bear Creek Greenway near the Family Fun Center rapidly spread east through dry fields, scorching several homes and forcing evacuations.

Posted: Jul 17, 2018 4:50 PM
Updated: Jul 18, 2018 11:14 AM


UPDATE: Fire District 3 says the Penninger Fire burned 97 acres and is 100% contained.

All evacuation levels have been removed from the Central Point area.

There were about 60-70 Firefighters from multiple agencies on scene to control the fire. Five out-buildings are destroyed and one is damaged. Three homes are also damaged. No one was hurt.

Fire District 3 says crews will be on scene throughout the night continuing mop up.

Fire Investigators from Fire District 3 and Detectives from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the fire's cause.

(Updated as of 10:10p.m. on Tuesday, July 17)

UPDATE: All roads are open again after Penninger Fire near Central Point, according to Medford Police.

ODOT also reports that I-5 Exit 33 has reopened, all lanes and ramps.

(Updated as of 7:09 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17)

UPDATE: According to JCSO, "forward fire progression has slowed." People within the evacuated area who are still there are being told to shelter in place, while evacuees are being asked to avoid the area.

Crews will be continuing to monitor the fire throughout the night. According to the Medford Police Department (MPD), roads will remain closed due to hot spots and fire crews in the area.

MPD says that no people or animals were hurt in the fire, but there was "plenty of property damage."

(Updated as of 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17)

UPDATE: Evacuation orders in Central Point have been lowered to a Level 2 "Be Set" warning according to the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).

The grass fire is now estimated at 50 acres burning. Several structures remain threatened, one is partially involved.

Firefighters from Fire District 3 are busy battling the fire, with air and ground resources from several other agencies supporting them.

"This is a dynamic and developing incident," said ODF. "We will help our partners at Fire District 3 sharing additional information as we have it.

(Updated as of 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17)

UPDATE: Customers are evacuating the Costco between Central Point and Medford, with smoke from the grass fire forming just outside of the parking lot.

There have not yet been any indications that the Airport will evacuate as well.

(Updated as of 5:50 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17)

UPDATE: 30-40 acres have already burned from the Central Point grass fire that began near the Expo, according to JCSO. Structures east of the Expo are currently under threat.

Traffic is currently at a stand-still on Crater Lake Highway near Vilas Road.

(Updated as of 5:40 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17)

UPDATE: Level 3 evacuations are being ordered within a 2-mile radius of the Jackson County Expo, according to JCSO. Road closures have also been added for Vilas Road and Table Rock Road in that area.

At last report, flames were spreading east toward the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport.

(Updated as of 5:05 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17)

INITIAL REPORT: A possible grass fire that appears to have originated near the Bear Creek Greenway close to the Rogue Valley Family Fun Center is spreading quickly as fire crews rush to respond.

Hamrick, Beebe and Gebhardt roads have been closed, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO).

All on and off-ramps at Exit 33 in Central Point are now closed due to the fire, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). Motorists are advised to avoid the interchange and Pine Street. Use alternate routes.

Footage from the scene shows flames spreading across fields of dry grass in multiple directions.

This is a developing story, and this article will be updated as more details emerge.

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