A fire started by lightning near the Oregon-California border has burned more than 10,000 acres in less than 24 hours and is threatening 170 structures. The Oregon Gulch Fire has burned one building and forced evacuations in Pinehurst, a rural community east of Ashland.
The Pinehurst Inn is just a few miles from the fire. Owner Denise Rowlett says it’s smoky but she’s still welcoming guests and cooking dinner. The inn is under an evacuation warning and Rowlett says she know she may have to leave it all behind.
“Be willing to kiss it, bless it, let it go,” Rowlett said. “You live in the woods, and this is always something that is in the back of your mind.”
Crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Cal-Fire are getting help from the Green Springs Volunteer Fire Department. Rowlett’s husband Donald is just home for a meal and a nap after more than 24 hours on the fire line.
“He smells like smoke,” Rowlett said. “He’s wet and dirty and tired.”
A spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry says the goal is to stop the fire from crossing into the Soda Mountain Wilderness and to protect the communities of Pinehurst and Green Springs.
Copyright 2014 Oregon Public Broadcasting