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Home Burns as Sugar Pine, Miles Fire Merge and Surge South

More evacuation orders in Jackson County came down as the Sugar Pine and South Umpqua Complex fires grew together and moved towards homes between Prospect and Trail.

Posted: Aug 3, 2018 12:09 PM
Updated: Aug 4, 2018 6:26 PM

TRAIL, Ore. — By Friday morning, fire officials confirmed that at least one home succumbed to flames in the Elk Creek area between Trail and Prospect.

"As of last night, structures were being lost in the Elk Creek Road area," said a statement from the Umpqua National Forest. "The number of structures lost or damaged has yet to be determined."

This marks the first confirmed loss of a structure in Southern Oregon from the widespread lightning-caused wildfires that began on July 15.

Conditions on Thursday caused the merger of some of the most dangerous fires still burning in Jackson and Douglas counties, with the 10,000-acre Miles Fire joining with the 6,000-acre Sugar Pine Fire, as well as the 1,800-acre Goodview Fire. Winds pushed flames down into the Hawk Creek drainage, spotting across Elk Creek Road near Burnt Peak and over a control line near Flat Creek and Ragsdale Butte.

The rapid increase in fire activity sparked hurried evacuation orders—both widespread Level 3 "GO" evacs near Elk Creek and Sugar Pine roads, and Level 2 "Be Set" warnings near Lost Creek Creek Lake and Highway 62.

Crews will be working on Friday to confirm whether or not the original control line has been compromised by spot fires. If so, they will fall back to a more defensible secondary line along the west branch of Elk Creek.

Crews say many residents have stayed despite being in Level 3 "GO" evacuation zones.

"When we saw fire we left and we couldn't wait to get back. It's home. Real simple. We've lived right in this place for 45 years," said Elk Creek resident Jerome Hammond.

It remains to be seen how fire officials will classify these fires now that they have merged. The South Umpqua Complex used to describe an array of fires primarily in Douglas County, although the Snowshow and Miles fires both moved south into Jackson. The Sugar Pine Fire (also consisting of several smaller fires) burned primarily in Jackson County. Now major elements of both fires have joined.

Officials expect a continuation of problematic weather conditions in the area. Although temperatures have cooled somewhat to 70-80 degrees and humidity is up to 25-38 percent, wind gusts of up to 25 mph coming from the northwest are expected to continue today.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 31865

Reported Deaths: 539
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7022136
Marion456992
Washington441759
Umatilla293941
Clackamas234661
Malheur158926
Jackson11094
Lane109616
Deschutes79312
Yamhill75013
Jefferson5218
Polk51515
Linn49513
Morrow4946
Lincoln47613
Union4392
Benton2946
Klamath2792
Wasco2793
Hood River2490
Douglas2244
Josephine1952
Columbia1551
Coos1490
Clatsop1310
Baker922
Crook621
Tillamook510
Curry310
Lake290
Wallowa281
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant90
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 799516

Reported Deaths: 15393
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2644146455
Riverside578831179
San Bernardino53359918
Orange526221182
San Diego45596773
Kern31712360
Fresno28019362
Sacramento21872399
Alameda20951397
Santa Clara20756304
San Joaquin20126437
Stanislaus16436345
Contra Costa16238204
Tulare15829259
Ventura12591146
Imperial11741317
San Francisco1094699
San Mateo9714144
Monterey970170
Santa Barbara8973113
Merced8828140
Kings756977
Sonoma7262120
Marin6641114
Solano627863
Madera445865
Placer353544
San Luis Obispo347929
Butte279043
Yolo278255
Santa Cruz22949
Sutter168911
Napa165313
San Benito132111
Yuba11367
El Dorado10884
Mendocino89418
Shasta75916
Lassen7360
Glenn5713
Tehama5334
Lake53011
Nevada5286
Colusa5246
Humboldt4967
Calaveras31414
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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