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Fire burns South Stage Road barn, equipment

Fire destroyed a barn on South Stage Road just outside Medford Wednesday morning and shot a black plume of smoke into the sky that was visible from miles away.

The blaze was reported around 9:35 a.m. by multiple callers. Four fire engines from Medford Fire-Rescue arrived to find flames engulfing the barn at 390 S. Stage Road, Deputy Fire Chief Justin Bates said. The fire already had consumed most of the building.

"At that point we just let it burn and put out the fire as best we could," Bates said.

Crews controlled the fire in about 10 minutes, but the barn and farming equipment stored in it were a total loss, Bates said. Tractors and haying equipment were reportedly stored in the barn, but no estimate of the value of the loss was available. Thick smoke continued to launch skyward even after the flames had been quenched.

A water tender from Jackson County Fire District 5 also responded to the area, which has no fire hydrants. A brush rig was called in to circle the perimeter and make sure no embers spread to the nearby fields. About 15 firefighters fought the flames. No other structures were threatened.

"Luckily we've had a little bit of moisture, and it's been cool at night, and so the grass has a little bit of moisture on it," Bates said. "This field has also been cut recently, and so we didn't have tall standing grass. If we did have tall standing grass, there would have obviously been a risk of fire spreading."

Bates said no injuries were reported. The fire's cause was still under investigation.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.

Medford Fire-Rescue firefighters battle a barn fire on South Stage Road Wednesday. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch