A fire started by lightning near the Oregon-California border has burned more than 10,000 acres in less than 24 hours. The Oregon Gulch Fire has burned one building and forced evacuations in Pinehurst, a rural community 25 miles east of Ashland. 170 structures are threatened, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.
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 a level 1 evacuation warning and Rowlett says she knows she may have to leave it all behind. “Be willing to kiss it bless it, let it go. You live in the woods. This is always something that is in the back of your mind,” she says.
Crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Cal-Fire are getting help from the Greensprings Volunteer Fire Department. Rowlett’s husband Donald is just home for a meal and a nap after more than 24 hours on the fire lines. “He smells like smoke, he’s wet and dirty, and tired,” she says.
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 Greensprings.