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Sugar Pine and Garner fires spur more evacuations

The Klondike and South Umpqua fires showed the most growth among local fires between Tuesday and Wednesday, but it was the Sugar Pine and Garner Complex fires that caused additional evacuations.

Addresses from 8800 to 17600 on Elk Creek Road and all addresses on Sugar Pine and Dodes Creek roads were put on a level 3 “Go” evacuation advisory around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Sugar Pine fire, which includes 19 individual fires, grew to include a combined 6,505 acres by Wednesday, from 6,086 acres the day before.

The Miles fire, part of that conflagration, approached residences on Elk Creek Road, but no structures were lost to flames, according to a Forest Service news release.

The Klondike fire, burning in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness near the area that spawned last year’s massive Chetco Bar fire, grew by 1,543 acres during that same time period, but no new evacuations were ordered.

A level 3 “Go” evacuation remains in effect for the Oak Flat community along Illinois River Road in Josephine County, while Illinois River Road from mile post 2.5 up to Oak Flat remained at level 2 “Get Ready.”

Smoke prevented air resources from helping yesterday. The most recent update on the federal InciWeb site said firefighters are focusing on protecting historic structures in Store Gulch and McCaleb Ranch, as well as monitoring the fire’s spread into scars from the Chetco Bar and Biscuit fires.

If weather conditions allowed, the update said, retardant would be dropped near the northwest corner of the fire on the ridgeline above the Illinois River.

The Klondike fire remained at 5 percent containment.

The South Umpqua fire grew the most, jumping 2,232 acres to reach 16,428 acres Wednesday. The fire, which has the most personnel involved at 1,205, remained at 16 percent containment.

A Wednesday release from the Joint Information Center stated that the department would begin Thursday issuing announcements and updates in Spanish through the end of fire season. The information can be found using the website’s Spanish tab.

“Fire officials are also encouraging those who see a need that is not being filled for our region’s Spanish-speaking people to contact them with suggestions for better reaching this community,” the release said.

A community briefing will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at North Valley High School, 6741 Monument Drive, Grants Pass, on the Taylor Creek fire, with a live stream available on the fire’s Facebook page.

A live stream will also be available for a community meeting about the Hendrix fire at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Ashland Middle School, 100 Walker Ave., Ashland.

A meeting addressing the Garner Complex will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, at Evans Valley Education and Community Center, 8205 E. Evans Creek Road, Rogue River.

The Natchez fire, burning in Northern California, was at 15 percent containment and reached 6,988 acres. The Hendrix fire was at 70 percent containment and 1,082 acres, only an acre larger than Tuesday.

The Garner Complex, now managed separately from the Taylor Creek fire, was at 68 percent containment and 8,885 acres Wednesday.

The Timber Crater 6 fire, which had burned 3,126 acres near Crater Lake National Park, was 85 percent contained.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Kaylee Tornay at ktornay@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4497. Follow her on Twitter @ka_tornay.

Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune The Taylor Creek fire burns Tuesday near Galice.