On August 12, 2016, a fire near Selma broke out burning approximately 50 acres.
The Oregon State Police Arson Unit and the Oregon Department of Forestry began an investigation. During the investigation, a Selma area transient was arrested on an unrelated warrant and lodged at the Josephine County Jail.
This person, Marcus A YEOMAN, age 35, quickly became the person of interest in the fire. Investigators determined it was human caused and that YEOMAN had built a campfire which led to the wildland fire. On August 13, 2016 YEOMAN was cited for Reckless Burning.
This is an ongoing investigation and no further information will be released at this time.
*Oregon Department of Forestry Release:
Wildfire in Selma Burns Three Homes - 08/13/16
Fire crews worked through the night cooling hot spots and monitoring fire lines on the Redwood Highway Fire in Selma, located on Highway 199 near the California border in southwest Oregon. Cooler nighttime temperatures and calm winds allowed for continued progress to be made on the fire line, which is 87 percent contained. The fire size remains at approximately 50 acres. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
No other fires larger than 100 acres were reported Friday or early Saturday on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands.
Just before sunrise today on the Redwood Highway Fire, firefighters discovered a small spot fire 1,000 feet outside of the current fire line. Within minutes, firefighters extinguished the flames and formed a wet line along the perimeter. Throughout the day, ground crews and aircraft will continue to monitor fire activity and watch for burning snags, spotting and flare ups. The goal is to ensure the fire perimeter is 100 percent lined by this evening.
Firefighters working on structural protection this morning uncovered three homes, and at least five outbuildings destroyed by the fire. It was originally thought by fire crews that only two homes were lost on Deer Creek Road in Selma; however, the daylight revealed that there were two homes on one property, a main house and guest house. All residents managed to safely evacuate. Firefighters will continue to search for additional structures damaged or threatened in the burned area.
Deer Creek Road remains under evacuation this morning. Residents on the 975 block and above on Deer Creek Rd. are at a "Be Set" Level 2 evacuation notice. Residents on the 974 block and below on Deer Creek Rd. remain at a "Go" Level 3 evacuation status. The road is closed to the public. After an additional assessment early this afternoon, Incident Command will revisit the option of reopening the road and changing evacuation levels. Residents seeking shelter assistance should visit the evacuation center, located in Cave Junction at 200 W. Watkins Street.
Redwood Highway is open but travelers are advised to drive slowly through the Selma area. Firefighting operations are still occurring next to the road and areas of smoke may be present.
The weather forecast today in southwest Oregon includes a Red Flag Warning for the Rogue River, Applegate River and Illinois River basins. Hot temperatures, 100-105, low relative humidity and potentially strong afternoon winds are expected across the region.
In the rest of Oregon, temperatures along the Coast remain moderate with highs in the mid-70s and lows in the mid-50s. East of the Cascades, high temperatures are expected in low-to-mid 90s and light winds. On Sunday, there is a chance of thunderstorms in the southern Oregon Cascade Range and the Klamath Basin.