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The Penninger Fire came uncomfortably close to home one year ago today

The fast-moving fire damaged some homes and forced evacuations around Central Point and Medford as it rushed through fields of dry grass.

Posted: Jul 17, 2019 6:34 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2019 6:34 PM

Speech to Text for The Penninger Fire came uncomfortably close to home one year ago today

Below is the closed-captioning text associated with this video. Since this uses automated speech to text spelling and grammar may not be accurate.

newswatch 12 for and we thought when we were leaving we thought our house was going to be gone when we came back. this is was what central point looked like a year ago today. the penninger fire moved quickly through the city. 5 outbuildings were a homeless greenway near the family fun center. it grew to about 97-acres. and forced evacuations for a 2-mile radius around the jackson county expo. newswatch 12's emma balkenbush is live near the area where a man's body was found after the fire burned through. she tells us how the fire left a lasting effect on the people who live nearby. [a16]penninger fire 1 year later-stinger right behind me is the spot where the sheiff's office found a man's body last year when they were flying over this area. the expo is just behind me. the video on your screen is what this spot looked like last year. i've been speaking with people who live here along beebe road. multiple people tell me it's a day they'll never forget. one man says he's made some big changes since then. "luckily the fire went to the southeast and didn't come our way." david webb moved to this home on beebe road more than 40 years ago. he's seen his fair share of fires.. but nothing like last year's penninger fire. "i would have left it came this way, but fortunately it didnt." he says police showed up to his home and told him he needed to leave, but he decided to stay behind and keep an eye on his home. he's happy with the work officials have put in this year to prevent a similar situation. "they've been a lot of time clearing it out over there, getting rid of most of the vagrants, the vagrant problem is definitely not as bad as it used to be." he's been doing his part to protect his home in the last year .. his back yard runs right up against the expo, so he's cleared out as many weeds and as much brush as he can. 'we've done quite a bit, but you know the reality is, there's so much stuff here that it's almost impossible to get it all out." webb says he's thankful for the slow start to fire season. he says there's really only one thing worse than the fire.. the smoke that fills the valley from other larger ones. "if i could have one of these every year and never have to have all that smoke coming in from all over, i would take that because that's worse." this area is near where the fire started but it quickly travelled across this field toward a central point neighborhood. i've been speaking with one family who watched it head toward their home as they tried to evacuate. coming up tonight at 6 - she explains what she's doing differently now. reporting live in central point, emma balkenbush, newswatch 12.
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