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Medford firefighters snuff morning Greenway fire

A brush fire that put up a column of smoke near the Rogue Valley Mall and was visible from Interstate 5 Wednesday morning was started by a transient warming fire that got out of control, Medford police said.

Medford police and Medford Fire-Rescue responded to the scene after the fire was reported at 6:47 a.m., a stone’s throw from the mall’s east side off the Bear Creek Greenway, according to Medford Police Lt. Mike Budreau.

Responding agencies discovered a debris-fueled fire spreading to nearby vegetation. The first pumper crew on scene used a high-pressure water cannon called a deck gun for initial attack, as the vehicle’s size prohibited it from accessing the greenway directly. The crew aimed the device from the mall parking lot and shot over Bear Creek to reach the flames on the other side.

“It puts out big water. We have nozzles on there that are 2 inches in diameter that can put out over 1,000 gallons a minute if we’re hooked up to a hydrant,” said Medford Fire-Rescue Chief Brian Fish. “That’s the stuff that we use if you have a big fire in a commercial building and you see these big hose streams. That’s usually from a deck gun.”

A smaller brush rig accessed the Greenway following the initial attack and finished mopping up the remains of the fire. The size of the blaze was not available, but Fish estimates crews had it knocked down within five minutes of arrival. Firefighters cleared the scene at 7:21 a.m.

Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanPfeil.