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Firefighters squelch two Medford blazes

Medford Fire-Rescue crews quickly extinguished a garage fire, then raced to join Oregon Department of Forestry firefighters to snuff out a grass fire near the Bear Creek Greenway and I-5 on a hot, windy Sunday afternoon.

The garage fire at 1312 Spring St. in Medford was reported at 2:30 p.m. Firefighters put out the fire in about three minutes after arriving, said Medford Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Rick Rohrbough.

"Somehow, a fire started outside of the house at the rear of the garage. It went up the garage wall and into the garage attic," he said.

Firefighters stopped the blaze from spreading to the house. No one was home, although a cat was in the house, Rohrbough said.

The street was temporarily closed and then one lane was reopened to traffic.

Crews were still rolling up their hoses after putting out the fire when they were called to a grass fire along the Bear Creek Greenway near Exit 30 of I-5, behind Red Lobster and Target.

Oregon Department of Forestry firefighters and Medford Fire-Rescue responded to the scene, with ODF arriving first.

The fire was snuffed out in about 30 to 45 seconds, ODF Forest Officer Jon Zehe said.

"We were close to the area so we had a quick response," he said, noting ODF personnel had been traveling back to Medford from Jacksonville after checking into a report of a violation of fire season restrictions.

The grass fire started near the greenway and was spreading toward I-5, Zehe said.

It burned less than an acre of grass, brush and weeds. Traffic continued to move past fire vehicles parked along nearby Highway 62. A brush rig was able to drive on the greenway to reach the fire.

The causes of the fires weren't immediately known.