After an outcry from citizens regarding a proposed Almeda Fire statue, the city of Medford has released the following statement.
“On Thursday, January 6, we responded to a request from community organizers and, as a Council, approved $33,750 towards the funding of a 20-foot “Firestorm” sculpture intended to honor Almeda Fire victims.
Throughout the past week we have heard from Rogue Valley community members who have voiced their concern about the look, size and location of the statue. It was Council’s intent to support a community symbol that inspires Rogue Valley community members.
At this time, the Council will be withdrawing financial support for this project and ask organizers to re-evaluate the sculpture and its location. We also request that the organizers create a public process for determining what the piece of art will look like and where it should go with the focus on representing the rebuilding of our neighboring communities.
This statue was to be designed as a 20ft memorial for the communities who lost so much, including the three lives the fire took.
However, many community members found it “triggering” as the design showed outlines of three human figures with lighting that mimicked flames behind it. At last check, there was a change.org petition that had over 600 signatures in under a day.
We will continue to monitor this developing story.