Jackson County Hired Independent Review of Emergency Protocol

ASHLAND, Ore. — KDRV Jackson County has a formalized contract today to commission a review of its emergency response to September’s wildfires.
County Senior Deputy County Administrator Harvey Bragg told NewsWatch 12 today he signed the County’s contract with IEM emergency management consulting group this week.
The North Carolina-based firm works with government agencies and private sector organizations to improve disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
Jackson County is contracting with IEM to review its response to the Almeda and South Obenchain Fires which started September 8.
Though fire fighters and law enforcement responded, the County’s Emergency Alert System did not activate.
Thousands of people had to evacuate their homes and businesses in the Rogue Valley and evacuate an area from Butte Falls to Shady Cove.
According to Jackson County’s damage assessments, the two fires destroyed 2,666 properties, with 2,491 considered residential structures and 171 commercial properties.
Oregon Department of Forestry says those fires, along with the Slater Fire, started the same day, fueled by strong wind experienced once every 20 years.
The Almeda Fire burned about 3,000 acres mostly through Talent and Phoenix, Oregon, and the South Obenchain Fire burned approximately 33,000 acres between Butte Falls and Shady Cove.
Outside of Jackson County, the Slater Fire burned approximately 150,000 acres in northern Siskiyou County, CA, and southern Josephine County, Oregon. It burned for two months before reaching 100% containment this month on December 10, 2020.

//inserted by Sharon