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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.

Confirmed Cases: 42436

Reported Deaths: 655
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9228160
Marion5858108
Washington579076
Umatilla335444
Clackamas313965
Lane239227
Malheur191738
Jackson16846
Deschutes113213
Yamhill99415
Linn81015
Polk65415
Jefferson6049
Morrow5456
Lincoln51713
Union4672
Benton4426
Klamath4113
Douglas3506
Wasco34715
Hood River2771
Josephine2673
Columbia2661
Coos2460
Clatsop2430
Baker1203
Crook1092
Tillamook700
Curry571
Wallowa442
Lake370
Harney230
Sherman190
Gilliam110
Grant110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 910438

Reported Deaths: 17386
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3006147000
Riverside667321295
San Bernardino627741072
Orange587251447
San Diego54941870
Kern33881416
Fresno30858436
Sacramento25445484
Santa Clara24313388
Alameda23391461
San Joaquin21630489
Contra Costa18694242
Stanislaus17686397
Tulare17495286
Ventura14300164
Imperial12882336
San Francisco12152140
Monterey1139991
San Mateo11149159
Santa Barbara9814120
Merced9465155
Sonoma9402136
Kings824683
Solano738476
Marin7089128
Madera502074
Placer417857
San Luis Obispo414132
Yolo320759
Butte308752
Santa Cruz280225
Napa196215
Shasta188930
Sutter183712
San Benito144215
El Dorado13284
Yuba129310
Mendocino112921
Tehama8808
Lassen7661
Lake69515
Glenn6573
Nevada6168
Humboldt56710
Colusa5506
Calaveras34218
Amador33016
Tuolumne2714
Inyo22715
Siskiyou1930
Mono1802
Del Norte1781
Mariposa782
Plumas680
Modoc290
Trinity260
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
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