Strong Winds Push Wildfire to Medford, Oregon, City Limits as Residents Ordered to Flee
‘UNPRECEDENTED AND SIGNIFICANT’
Almost the entire 82,000 population of Medford, Oregon, has been ordered to flee immediately or prepare to leave at a moment’s notice as strong winds pushed a raging wildfire toward the edge of the city. The fast-moving Almeda fire started in Ashland on Tuesday morning and has now swept northwest through the Rogue Valley. The Oregon Department of Forestry estimated the fire had expanded to between 2,500 and 3,000 acres as of late Tuesday night. According to a live evacuation map, Jackson County has ordered southeast and central Medford residents to leave immediately, with some more northern and western areas under instructions to prepare to leave. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday declared a wildfire emergency, saying: “This is proving to be an unprecedented and significant fire event for our state.” The fire burned through nearby Phoenix and has now approached the edge of Medford city limits. Major fires are also being fought outside Portland, in Clackamas County, where thousands have also been told to evacuate.