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MailTribune.com
  • Wildfire in Williams burns nearly 200 acres

  • A fire in Williams has burned through between 150 and 200 acres this afternoon, destroying at least one building, threatening numerous homes and closing roads in the rural area, the Oregon Department of Forestry reports.
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  • A fire in Williams has burned through between 150 and 200 acres this afternoon, destroying at least one building, threatening numerous homes and closing roads in the rural area, the Oregon Department of Forestry reports.
    The fire started near Pacifica, a nature center with a botanical garden and arts center at 14615 Watergap Road, Williams. The fast-moving flames raced through a stand of trees and some high grass, crossed Powell Creek Road and are still moving toward Williams Highway, ODF spokesman Brian Ballou said.
    He said a building near Powell Creek Road has burned. Josephine County emergency officials estimated about 125 homes were threatened.
    Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson said deputies spread out alerting residents along Watergap Road and Lower Powell Creek Road and cordoned off an area where the fire was threatening one home with a large propane tank.
    Residents in the1200 block of Lower Powell Creek Road, the14000 block of Watergap Road and 14000-16000 blocks of Williams Highway have been told to evacuate, Josephine County emergency officials said. American Red Cross is providing emergency shelter at the Josephine County Fairgrounds, 1451 Fairgrounds Road, Grants Pass.
    Williams Highway south of Powell Creek Road is closed, as is Lower Powell Creek Road.
    Two air tankers and three helicopters are battling the fire from above. Bulldozers are cutting firelines and both wildland and structural firefighters and engines are working in the area, Ballou said.
    A call center has been activated and residents can call 541-474-5305 to get information about the fire and evacuations.
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