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One month since Almeda, South Obenchain and Slater Fires

It's been one month since the Almeda, the South Obenchain and Slater Fires started on September 8.

Posted: Oct 8, 2020 7:17 PM

MEDFORD, Ore-- It's been one month since the Almeda, the South Obenchain and Slater fires sparked in Jackson and Josephine counties on September 8. Fire crews and the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest have put out two of the three fires, but the Slater Fire continues to burns, staying at more than 155,000 acres and 67 percent containment.

"We have just whole neighborhoods that were destroyed in the Talent area," said Sandra Spelliscy, who is the City Manager for Talent, about the destruction of the Almeda Fire. "It was just an other worldly experience and it was like something that you would see in a movie, like the apocalypse."

Hot and dry conditions on that day made it the perfect weather conditions for a fire to start, and the gusty wind conditions made the situation even worse. The Fire initial started on the north part of Ashland and quickly started to move further north into Talent, Phoenix and some parts of northern Medford. 

Talent City Officials have confirmed that at least 800 structures were destroyed by the Almeda Fire, with most of the structures being either homes or apartments. With thousands are people left homeless, the city is trying to do everything in its power to help people that are looking for help.

"We know that there are people that are really hurting and we want help them today," said Spelliscy. "But we cant necessarily provide that right now. We are looking to do things in the long term, but its going to take a long time to get there."

The Almeda Fire burned 3,200 acres before being fully contained and claimed the lives of three Oregonians.

The South Obenchain had very similar conditions to the Almeda Fire. The area had been plagued by hot and dry conditions, and once again gust winds made the fire's spread even more sporadic. Fire crews had a difficult time figuring out where the fire would spread to, which made creating containment lines difficult.

Not only did the weather and wind conditions make things difficult for fire crews, but the lack of staff on the initial start of the fire made things even more difficult, with firefighters spread out across Jackson County. 

"All of the resources were dispatched to other incidents, so it was just a tough call," said Natalie Weber for the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest. It was just a tough place to be.There were just so many things going on, and you want to help everyone and do everything that you can, but when you are stretched thin like that, it's tough.It was just a rough day for everyone."

The South Obenchain Fire burned 32,671 acres and destroyed almost 90 structres between Shady Cove, Butte Falls and Eagle Point. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 214869

Reported Deaths: 2836
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah41288617
Washington27471257
Marion24180329
Clackamas19603240
Lane14464171
Jackson12195151
Deschutes1035787
Umatilla918292
Linn607281
Yamhill496981
Klamath490279
Douglas423587
Polk421556
Josephine395874
Malheur365067
Benton338722
Jefferson245642
Coos226839
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Crook136824
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Morrow120317
Clatsop111810
Baker105717
Curry75512
Tillamook7285
Grant5577
Lake4848
Harney45111
Wallowa2086
Gilliam841
Sherman772
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

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Cases: 3894556

Reported Deaths: 64228
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San Bernardino3040755236
Riverside3040604657
San Diego2906253793
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Santa Clara1217672099
Sacramento1128961770
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Tulare50104854
Monterey44273524
San Mateo43880588
San Francisco38954561
Solano35193259
Santa Barbara35189465
Merced32814484
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Imperial28996745
Placer24530304
Kings23366248
San Luis Obispo21717264
Madera16885249
Santa Cruz16452207
Marin14589238
Yolo14574214
Butte12982203
Shasta12804242
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Tehama581566
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Mendocino457150
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Lake396364
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Siskiyou252740
Glenn245727
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Calaveras227958
Del Norte15518
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