Three-Alarm “Monument Drive Fire” Ignites Near North Valley High School

Firefighting teams are currently battling a significant grass fire near North Valley High School in the Merlin area. The blaze, located on Monument Drive in Josephine County, has prompted a collaborative effort involving mutual aid from Rural Metro Fire, Grants Pass Fire, ODF, and multiple other agencies.

The fire, which has rapidly expanded to an estimated size of 15-20 acres, is a cause for concern among local authorities. Firefighters are confronting the blaze head-on, with an aggressive initial attack strategy aimed at containing and extinguishing the flames before they spread further.

In addition to the dedicated efforts of ground personnel, airborne support has been enlisted to combat the fire. Helicopters and two single-engine airtankers (SEATs) are swooping in to assist from above, dropping water and fire retardant to aid in the containment mission.

For the safety of residents and emergency responders alike, local authorities are urging individuals to avoid the immediate vicinity of the fire. The area around Monument Drive and North Valley High School is considered a hazardous zone due to the ongoing firefighting operations.

According to ODF structural partners, there are currently no homes that are directly threatened, as firefighters have begun to get a good hold on the fire.

Retardant drops by air tankers have stopped the forward progress and the fire itself is only impacting one knob on the hillside.

Door-to-door notifications were made by Josephine County Sheriff’s Office and Josephine County Emergency Management.

Medford Alert will continue to monitor this fire and provide updates as they become available.

You can track this fire through our 2023 Wildfire Season partner’s Wildfire Aware app.

Source: ODF

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