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Crashes trigger roadside fires

Two separate and unrelated car wrecks early Saturday morning resulted in no life-threatening injuries, but caused fires that required quick response before they grew into major blazes.

At 12:43 a.m. Rural/Metro Fire Department responded to a single-car crash on Spencer Creek Road near Murphy Creek Road, where a Dodge pickup went down an embankment and caught fire.

Occupants got out of the pickup on their own, and none required ambulance transport, said Mike Shaw of Rural/Metro. The fire spread to trees, and Oregon Department of Forestry responded and helped keep the fire to 1/10th of an acre.

The Oregon State Police arrived and cited Kaleb James Farnham, 22, of Grants Pass, on charges of drunken driving.

In Wimer, Evans Valley Fire Department responded to a grass fire and a large tree on fire at 2:45 a.m. at the intersection of East Evans Creek Road and Covered Bridge Road. When crews arrived, they found a car on fire, said Evans Valley Chief Bill Fuller.

Some young adults drove up and told Fuller they thought their friend was in the car, adding stress to the situation, Fuller said. After extinguishing the fire, firefighters found no one in the car.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office later told Fuller the driver was already home in Medford.

The fire spread to a 26-inch diameter tree, which was scorched “clear to the top,” Fuller said. The fire was knocked down with the help of Rogue River Fire Department and ODF.

In another crash in which alcohol was involved, three people were injured in the 600 block of Abegg Road around 10:30 p.m. Saturday when a Subaru Legacy ran off the road and crashed into trees. Shaw said two people were transported in one ambulance and one in another ambulance, but injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. OSP responded to the crash scene, then Three Rivers Medical Center, where driver Brett E. Boone, 48, was cited on suspicion of DUII.

Oregon State Police responded to the Spencer Creek Road and Abegg Road incidents.