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: 309841

Reported Deaths: 3569
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50840642
Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4629254

Reported Deaths: 67880
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144280825828
Riverside3568674792
San Diego3488504006
San Bernardino3463255488
Orange3135295346
Sacramento1496892070
Santa Clara1400931838
Fresno1351721882
Kern1343971515
Alameda1158381320
Ventura974721116
San Joaquin968971610
Contra Costa95424924
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72498895
San Mateo52065607
San Francisco51698605
Monterey49400564
Solano43993312
Santa Barbara42954498
Sonoma39293376
Merced39105533
Placer36269362
Imperial34170755
Kings29948281
San Luis Obispo28194311
Madera21586258
Butte21114230
Shasta20487276
Santa Cruz20094211
Yolo19082239
Marin17053242
El Dorado15913127
Sutter13025153
Napa1223195
Yuba919261
Nevada843085
Humboldt823184
Tehama817684
San Benito707767
Mendocino679471
Lassen634127
Tuolumne610393
Lake598987
Amador488258
Glenn395030
Siskiyou386541
Calaveras337066
Del Norte332734
Colusa290318
Inyo166039
Mono14705
Plumas12216
Mariposa96712
Trinity71410
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1010
Alpine990
Out of CA00
Medford
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Brookings
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Drying out this evening, much drier and more fantastic air quality on Monday
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