Local News

Firefighters on Salt Creek Fire Successful in Holding It Largely Within Footprint
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Firefighters working the Salt Creek Fire near Eagle Point were able to hold it largely within its footprint on Monday, despite another day of triple-digit heat and windy conditions. The Oregon Department of Forestry reports the wildfire was still estimated to be around 1,500 acres last night. An overnight infrared flight was ordered and it will likely be able to give a more accurate size of the fire later this morning. A few spot fires were found on the eastern portion of the incident and flames began to cross a line on the southern border, but resources caught each of these issues and were able to halt any further spread. Fire activity began to pick up at the change of shift at 6 p.m. and a column of smoke once again stood up. Despite challenges on the line yesterday, progress was made and the fire is now an estimated 60% lined. Mop-up efforts have begun on the west side of the blaze and are about 5% complete. There were 290 personnel assigned to the wildfire last night including eight 20-person hand crews backed by 14 engines, nine bulldozers, seven water tenders and five task force leaders. ODF Incident Management Team 1 has taken command of the Salt Creek Fire, which is relieving local agencies so they can respond to any new local fire starts.
Posted on 7/9/24 6:39AM by Sam Marsh
 

Troopers & Deputies Snared 4 Suspects for Armed Disturbance at Galice Resort
The Oregon State Police assisted the Josephine County Sheriff's Office with a weekend disturbance involving firearms at the Galice Resort. OSP reports troopers and deputies responded to the incident at the resort in the 11,700-block of Galice Road on Saturday night. Troopers said it was reported that at least three individuals with firearms were pointing them at approximately 15 people who were unable to escape. They said no one was hurt in the altercation and there was no information disclosed about why the incident occurred. According to OSP, four individuals were arrested for the incident. They were identified as 44-year-old Peter Anthony Rivera, 60-year-old Anthony Brent Clymens, 38-year-old Samantha Rae Kenny and 36-year-old Brian P. Stack. Rivera was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felon in Possession of a Weapon, 4th-Degree Assault, Furnishing False Information to Police and Parole Violation. Clymens was lodged in jail for Felon in Possession of a Weapon. Kenny was jailed for Menacing while Stack was jailed for Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Menacing. All four suspects were being held without bail as the investigation continues.
Posted on 7/9/24 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Arrested Man for Breaking into Equipment Yard & Stealing Fuel
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for breaking into an equipment rental business and stealing gasoline last weekend. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to the break-in at Grants Pass Equipment Rentals in the 200-block of Rogue River Highway early Sunday morning. Police said the incident was captured on surveillance video and called in by the business owner. They said a 29-year-old male subject entered the property by jumping over the secure fence. He entered the location with a red fuel can and started siphoning fuel from heavy machinery at the business. The business owner arrived on scene and spotted the subject walking away with the fuel can. He provided a description of the man and officers located him near Burger King where his vehicle was parked. When he was contacted, he was still in possession of the fuel can and reeked of fuel which was all over his clothing. The suspect was placed into custody and transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was booked for Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, 3rd-Degree Theft and 2nd-Degree Criminal Trespass. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/9/24 6:20AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Nabbed Frequent Flyer for Lighting Cardboard Fire in Alleyway
Grants Pass Police arrested a well-known criminal offender for lighting a fire in a downtown alley last weekend. The Police Department reports officers responded to the incident in the alleyway behind the Twisted Cork in the 200-block of SW 6th Street on Sunday afternoon. Police said the 31-year-old female subject intentionally set fire to some cardboard in the alley, the cardboard became fully engulfed in flames next to a dumpster that was full of flammable trash that was next to a flammable utility pole. The outside temperature was well over 100 degrees and fire danger was extremely high. Officers searched the area and found the subject at a next door building and she was still holding a lighter in her hand. She was immediately placed into custody. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Reckless Burning and she was being held without bail. Firefighters arrived to inspect the smoldering remains of the fire and made sure it was no longer a danger.
Posted on 7/9/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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Chamber Postpones Today's Concert in the Park Due to Excessive Heat
Due to the Excessive Heat Warning now in effect with triple-digit temperatures through Wednesday, the Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce will not be hosting Concerts in the Park this evening. For the record, Grants Pass reached 109 degrees on Monday, but it did not break a high temperature record for July 8th. The record remains 110 degrees in 1903. While the cancellation was not a decision made lightly, the Chamber prioritizes the well-being, health and safety of Concerts in the Park attendees and the many dedicated people it takes to put on this great community event. The Chamber will be adding another concert date set for Tuesday, July 30th. Due to scheduling conflicts, Danielle Kelly will not be able to perform. New band information is coming soon. They apologize for any inconvenience and are very thankful for everyone's patience and understanding. They encourage our community to exercise caution during these extreme temperatures. The Chamber will see you at the Josephine County Fairgrounds Midway Park next week, July 16th, with Trevor Hanks & the Blackburn Rebels.
Posted on 7/9/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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ODF Southwest Increased Local Fire Danger Level to "Extreme" This Morning Due to Heat
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Due to dry vegetation, hot conditions and numerous active fires in the region, the Oregon Department of Forestry has raised local fire danger to its highest level. Starting today, the fire danger in Josephine and Jackson counties is "extreme" and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level remains at "2." This change in regulations impacts 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and BLM lands protected by ODF's Southwest District. Beginning today, many outdoor activities have become completely prohibited on ODF-protected lands. This includes the use of power saws; the cutting, grinding and welding of metal; the mowing of dry or dead grass; and the operation of any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine not specifically mentioned. The mowing of green lawns is permitted. Smoking remains prohibited while traveling except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and designated locations. All outdoor debris burning remains prohibited as do all open fires including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires except in approved fire rings at designated campgrounds. Motor vehicles may only be used on improved roads free of flammable vegetation except when used for commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops. Possession of firefighting equipment is required while traveling except on state highways, county roads and driveways. For more information about ODF Southwest's fire season restrictions, please visit "swofire.com."
Posted on 7/9/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Medford District BLM, US Forest Service and ODF Ban Most Campfires in SW Oregon
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Due to recent high temperatures and increasing fire danger, the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management has implemented more public use restrictions on lands it manages in Southern Oregon. Local fire danger has moved to "extreme." Campfires are no longer allowed anywhere on the local district including Hyatt Lake Campground. Visitors can use portable cooking stoves that use liquefied or bottled fuels. Otherwise, campfires or any other type of open flame -- including the use of charcoal briquettes -- is prohibited. Smoking is only allowed while inside a vehicle or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is clear of flammable vegetation. Operating a motor vehicle and parking off-road is only allowed on roadways clear of flammable vegetation. Using a chainsaw is prohibited as is welding or operating a torch with an open flame. Visitors to BLM-managed public lands are required to carry tools with them to ensure small fires can be put out quickly. Violation of these restrictions can result in a fine of up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment of one year. The BLM, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Oregon Department of Forestry have also banned all campfire use on lands located within the boundaries of the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River that flows from Grave Creek to the mouth of Watson Creek.
Posted on 7/9/24 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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Jackson County Public Health Declares Local Air Quality Alert Due to Wildfire Smoke
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Public health officials have issued an Air Quality Alert for Jackson County due to wildfire smoke. There are two wildfires impacting air quality in Jackson County: the Salt Creek Fire near Eagle Point and the Shelly Fire in Siskiyou County, California. At a minimum, residents and visitors can expect to see air quality impacted by these fires for the next couple of days. Depending on weather patterns and fire activity, air quality could be impacted for a longer period of time. Smoke levels can rise and fall depending on weather factors including wind direction and the amount of smoke produced by the wildfires. Wildfires burning in neighboring counties and states can also impact the air quality in Jackson County. Therefore, people need to be prepared to take steps to protect their health. Wildfire smoke is a complex mixture of air pollutants that are harmful to human health. Exposure to air pollutants in smoke can irritate the lungs, cause inflammation, alter immune function and increase susceptibility to respiratory infections.
Posted on 7/9/24 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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ODF Southwest Increasing Local Fire Danger Level to "Extreme" on Tuesday
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Due to dry vegetation, hot conditions and numerous active fires in the region, the Oregon Department of Forestry is raising the local fire danger level to its highest level on Tuesday. Starting at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, the fire danger in Josephine and Jackson counties will be "extreme" and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at "2." This change in regulations impacts 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and BLM lands protected by ODF's Southwest District. Beginning Tuesday, many outdoor activities will become completely prohibited on ODF-protected lands. This includes the use of power saws; the cutting, grinding and welding of metal; the mowing of dry or dead grass; and the operation of any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine not specifically mentioned. The mowing of green lawns is permitted. Smoking remains prohibited while traveling except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and designated locations. All outdoor debris burning remains prohibited as do all open fires including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires except in approved fire rings at designated campgrounds. In other locations clear of vegetation, portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. Motor vehicles -- including motorcycles and ATVs -- may only be used on improved roads free of flammable vegetation except when used for commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops. Possession of firefighting equipment is required while traveling except on states highways, county roads and driveways. For more information about ODF Southwest's fire season restrictions, please visit "swofire.com."
Posted on 7/8/24 1:27PM by Sam Marsh
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Troopers and Deputies Snared Four Suspects for Disturbance at Galice Resort
The Oregon State Police assisted the Josephine County Sheriff's Office with a weekend disturbance involving firearms at the Galice Resort. OSP reports troopers and deputies responded to the incident at the resort in the 11,700-block of Galice Road on Saturday at 9:20 p.m.. Troopers said it was reported that at least three individuals with firearms were pointing them at approximately 15 people who were unable to escape. They said no one was hurt in the altercation and there was no information disclosed about why the incident occurred. According to OSP, four individuals were arrested for the incident. They were identified as 44-year-old Peter Anthony Rivera, 60-year-old Anthony Brent Clymens, 38-year-old Samantha Rae Kenny and 36-year-old Brian P. Stack. Rivera was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felon in Possession of a Weapon, 4th-Degree Assault, Furnishing False Information to Police and Parole Violation. Clymens was lodged in jail for Felon in Possession of a Weapon. Kenny was jailed for Menacing while Stack was jailed for Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Menacing. All four suspects were being held without bail as the investigation continues.
Posted on 7/8/24 11:14AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Investigation Resulted in Arrest of Man for Multiple Counts of Fraud
A Grants Pass Police Department investigation resulted in the weekend arrest of a man for multiple counts of fraud. The Police Department reports officers arrested a 38-year-old male subject at or near Southern Oregon Cannabis Connection on NE 7th Street on Saturday at 1:15 p.m.. Few details about the investigation were disclosed, but the subject was charged with three counts each of Felony Identity Theft and Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card. He was interviewed by detectives before being placed into custody. The suspect was lodged without bail at the Josephine County Jail.
Posted on 7/8/24 11:13AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Man on Local Warrant and Federal Charges after Weekend Call
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man on a local warrant and federal charges after a weekend incident in the Selma area. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies arrested a 35-year-old male subject on Illinois River Road on Saturday shortly before 9 p.m.. Deputies said they responded to a call regarding the man nodding off in a Dodge Dakota at that location. They said the caller believed the man might be drunk or high as he was displaying jerking motions before passing out. Upon arrival, deputies roused the man and discovered that he was wanted on a Jackson County felony warrant for Parole Violation. A search of his vehicle uncovered fireworks and alcohol. Further investigation revealed the man had been at the Swinging Bridge on the Illinois River earlier that evening. The US Forest Service has outlawed alcohol and fireworks possession on the Illinois River corridor during the outdoor recreation season. The suspect was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant. He was also cited federally for Possession of Alcohol and Possession of Fireworks Where Prohibited. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 7/8/24 11:11AM by Sam Marsh
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