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Remembering The Big Fires, One Year Later

Fire Flag Talent OPB.jpg
Brandon Swanson
A partially burned American flag flutters in the breeze in front of the remains of a mobile home in Talent, Ore., on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. More than 50 mobile homes in this park were completely destroyed by the Almeda Fire which came through the area Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.

September 8th marks one year exactly since the Almeda Drive and South Obenchain fires destroyed 2,500 homes in Jackson County. And the destruction visited other parts of the region, too, with homes lost on both sides of the state line.

It is taking time and effort to rebuild, and the ever-present COVID pandemic keeps getting in the way. A two-day observance of the Almeda Drive fire anniversary planned for Ashland, Talent, and Phoenix had to be cancelled when COVID case numbers began spiking in Jackson County and elsewhere. The event has been replaced with a self-guided experience.

We round up some of the organizers and some fire survivors to talk about their experiences and their work to put the pieces of community back together.

Many thanks to all of our guests:

  • Niria Alicia
  • Erica Ledesma
  • Teresa Cisneros
  • Jocksana Corona
  • Alison French
  • Daniel Verner
  • Cherie Grubbs
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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. John Baxter is the senior producer, Angela Decker is the producer and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.