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Rum Creek Fire grows to over 8,000 acres, no new evacuations

Rum Creek Fire official information page

The wildfire is burning approximately 20 miles northwest of Grants Pass, along the Rogue River near the communities of Galice and Rand.

Hot temperatures and shifting winds will increase fire risk in the coming days, according to Sandy Roberts, a public information officer with the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office.

"Fuels are dry. And now we have a heat wave moving into the area which will increase intensity," Roberts said on Sunday afternoon.

Wind direction could shift toward the southeast on Sunday, according to Roberts, which would produce more smoke in communities in Josephine and Jackson County.

"There maybe be more smoke visible than there has been in previous days," she said.

Roberts confirmed that there has been no change to evacuation levels from the Josephine County sheriff's office.

So far officials have confirmed that one residence and two other structures have been destroyed in the fire. OSFM has six task forces and one hand crew currently working on structure protection in the areas around Galice, Rand and Almeda.

On Sunday Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency across Oregon due to "imminent threat of wildfire."

"Much of the state continues to experience high temperatures, wind, storms with dry lightning, and persistent drought. With the extended forecast in Oregon calling for continued warm and dry conditions—and with many parts of the state in drought emergencies—the threat of wildfire in Oregon is imminent," the statement from the governor's office reads.

Temperatures in Grants Pass are forecast to hover around 100 degrees through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

A wildfire evacuation center for the Rum Creek Fire is being held at the Josephine County Fairgrounds in Grants Pass. The facility is available for wildfire evacuees as well as livestock.

There has been one fatality associated with the Rum Creek Fire. Logan Taylor of Talent, Oregon was struck by a tree and killed on August 18 while working. Taylor was the owner and operator of Sasquatch Reforestation, a local forestry company. A public memorial for Taylor will be held on Monday, August 29 at 10:00 a.m. at Harry and David Field in Medford. Members of the public are invited to attend.

The Oregon Fire Marshal's Office has a public information line for the Rum Creek Fire staffed from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The number is 541-625-0849.

Additional resources and information can be found here.

Copyright 2022 Jefferson Public Radio. To see more, visit Jefferson Public Radio.

Erik Neumann is a radio producer and writer. A native of the Pacific Northwest, his work has appeared on public radio stations and in magazines along the West Coast. He received his Bachelor's Degree in geography from the University of Washington and a Master's in Journalism from UC Berkeley. Besides working at KUER, he enjoys being outside in just about every way possible.