Central Point Fire Damages Homes
A late-afternoon grass fire forced dozens of homes and businesses to evacuate an area near the Jackson County Expo Park Tuesday.
The Penninger Fire broke out before 5 PM near the Family Fun Center by the south end of the park. It quickly grew to more than 50 acres, and the police ordered immediate evacuations. The evacuation zone spread more than a mile from the fire, and forced workers to leave the nearby Costco and the National Weather Service office just west of the Medford airport grounds. Police closed the Central Point exit on Interstate Five.
Jackson County Fire District 3 and crews from other agencies attacked from the air and ground. By 6:30 PM, JCFD3 reported that the spread of the fire had been stopped. Police lifted evacuation orders, but advised residents already out to stay away.
Oregon Department of Forestry relayed word from Fire District 3 that structures were damaged in the area, and a more complete count would be provided once crews could get into the area for a full damage assessment.