Study: Rogue Valley Towns Top List for Wildfire Destruction Risk

Merlin, Medford, Eagle Point, Grants Pass and Ashland all fell within the top 10 communities with the greatest chance of losing homes to wildfire, according to a study commissioned by the Forest Service.

Posted: Jan 29, 2019 10:50 AM
Updated: Jan 29, 2019 10:57 AM

SALEM, Ore. — Major communities in the Rogue Valley face some of the greatest risk for losing homes to wildfire in the state, a new study commissioned by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) found.

Merlin topped the list, coming in at the #1 greatest risk. Medford, Eagle Point, Grants Pass and Ashland all came in among the top 10.

The study, conducted by Montana-based wildfire analysis firm Pyrologix, assessed the the risk of "wildfire exposure" for homes in communities throughout the states of Washington and Oregon, then identified the top 50 at-risk communities in each state.

"In the broadest sense, wildfire exposure encompasses the likelihood of wildfire burning a given location on the landscape, and the potential intensity of a wildfire if one were to occur," Pyrologix said in the report.

Although the company only listed 50 communities from each state, the study reportedly examined "all 1,005 named communities" across Oregon and Washington.

"In Oregon, the 50 most-exposed communities comprise only 19% of the 1,196,187 housing units located on or near burnable land cover, but 80% of the cumulative housing unit exposure," the study found.

Pyrologix concluded that, in both Oregon and Washington, a small number of communities carried the vast majority of risk from wildfire destruction. 

"The unequal distribution suggests that focusing mitigation efforts on the most-exposed communities is likely to result in the greatest benefit," the company said.

Below are the top 25 cities at the greatest risk of wildfire exposure — as determined by Pyrologix — which encompasses a number communities in Southern Oregon:

  1. Merlin
  2. Redwood
  3. Medford
  4. Bend
  5. Warm Springs
  6. Eagle Point
  7. Redmond
  8. Grants Pass
  9. Ashland
  10. Prineville
  11. New Hope
  12. Terrebonne
  13. Williams
  14. Cave Junction
  15. Wimer
  16. Gold Hill
  17. Chenoweth
  18. Talen
  19. Central Point
  20. Sisters
  21. Tumalo
  22. Selma
  23. Jacksonville
  24. Rogue River
  25. Klamath Falls

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313161

Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
Fresno1358611888
Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1650
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 61°
Brookings
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 75°
Crater Lake
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 61°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 61°
Klamath Falls
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 59°
Warmer temperatures with haze returning
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events