Update on fires near Ashland and how to help

We have received inquiries as to the status of downtown Ashland in the aftermath of the Almeda fire that began September 8th on the northern edge of Ashland. Extreme winds, heat and drought conditions caused a small grassfire to travel northward, fueled by the vegetation along the Bear Creek Greenway. The 50 mile-an-hour gusts propelled the flames through the heart of Ashland's small neighboring communities of Talent and Phoenix in a matter of hours, with very few inhabitants having ample time to gather belongings before evacuating. At the time of writing, it is estimated that over 2,000 structures have been destroyed, including many of the small businesses that had thrived for years along Highway 99. This devastation is overwhelming but the resilient and tightly-knit communities of our Rogue Valley have created numerous shelters, donation sites, health clinics and funds to help rebuild homes and lives. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival compiled a list of resources for those wanting to help:

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