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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: 155315

Reported Deaths: 2208
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31853528
Washington21170212
Marion18416285
Clackamas13357175
Lane10224126
Jackson8377112
Umatilla765182
Deschutes594659
Yamhill377364
Linn358656
Malheur335058
Polk305342
Klamath278955
Douglas246354
Josephine233750
Benton233516
Jefferson195528
Coos148219
Union128419
Columbia126121
Wasco122126
Lincoln113120
Hood River106829
Morrow104714
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6567
Curry4266
Tillamook4142
Lake3756
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3563578

Reported Deaths: 51953
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119089421328
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2862912816
Orange2610223904
San Diego2596413271
Santa Clara1104221777
Kern102627826
Fresno952021443
Sacramento931801472
Alameda804961241
Ventura77534844
San Joaquin665691101
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus56024946
Tulare47784758
Monterey42138328
San Mateo38922515
San Francisco34213410
Santa Barbara31763409
Solano30024164
Merced28915397
Sonoma28063298
Imperial26888591
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15436209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12816185
Shasta10972174
Butte10941160
El Dorado9095100
Napa901469
Sutter884597
San Benito575959
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Nevada395274
Tuolumne394659
Mendocino379643
Amador345741
Humboldt318033
Lake315341
Glenn222023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128737
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
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Brookings
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Medford
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Medford
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Klamath Falls
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Very mild start to March
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