Oregon State Fire Marshal assisting with Rum Creek fire

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – The Rum Creek Fire exploded in size last night due to strong winds in the area.

The fire increased from around 1,200 acres early Friday to 4,319 acres overnight causing the area between Rand and Galice to be evacuated.  Firefighters tell us the strong winds caused spot fires on both sides of the rogue river.

This morning Governor Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act to send strike teams from the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office to help with fire operations. Firefighters tell us that a huge priority for them now is protecting at-risk structures.

“We are doing a structure protection assessment for all the local communities in the area, once the impact to the structures has been minimized we will look to establish actual containment lines on the incident itself,” said Eric Riener, Incident Commander Trainee. 

This afternoon they said more than 60 of them were in level-3 evacuation zones. At this time no structures have been lost. Spot fires have been discovered up to two miles away from the fire’s footprint.

The rogue river is currently closed from Hog Creek through the Wild Section to allow easier access for firefighters. Follow the Bureau of Land Management in Medford for the latest on the river’s status. 

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