Redding Record Searchlight
Published 6:44 PM EDT Sep 10, 2020
The Almeda Fire has devastated multiple communities in Southern Oregon and damaged at least 600 homes and 100 commercial buildings, according to preliminary estimates from officials on Thursday.
The fire, which sparked before noon Tuesday in Ashland, spread through parts of Talent and Phoenix and onto south Medford. A criminal investigation is underway in connection to the fire, Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler said Wednesday.
“All you needed was a spark, and the wind and the relative low humidity is what drove that fire,” said Marc Spilde, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Medford.
Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office spokesman Rich Tyler compared the path and speed of the fire along the I-5, Highway 99 corridor to the 2018 Camp Fire in Northern California. That wildfire leveled the community of Paradise, becoming the most deadly and destructive fire in the state’s history.
“This would be the Oregon version of that,” he said.
A ‘wall of flames’: Ashland, Oregon residents flee ahead of Almeda Fire
Updates: Almeda fire threatens ‘lives and structures’ in Ashland, Medford
Satellite imagery, courtesy of Maxar Technologies, puts the scope of the damage in Southern Oregon into perspective.
More Alemda Fire damage photos, videos
Nate Chute is a producer with the USA Today Network. Follow him on Twitter at @nchute.