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How to find the Latest News (on the Jackson County Fires)

September 11, 2020

I am going to take a quick break from my Happiness in Progress content to share some of my news skills with the people of Jackson County.

There’s a pretty big information issue happening right now – in which people are struggling to find the information they need about fast-moving fires, what’s next and the devastation that has occurred.

There’s probably a few reasons this is happening including the barrage of social media information – and the inability to figure out where real information exists.

Here I’d like to share with you some links that you can use to get the information you need anytime of day. Second, I will share with you where you can watch the news. And third, my favorite Jackson County news people to follow.

Links to Stay Updated

Live Evacuation Map: The most valuable site is this one – a live update of evacuation zones for the Almeda and Obenchain Fires.

Obenchain Updates: This map is the best to check the majority of the maps burning throughout the West. Sadly, Almeda is not included. However, check it for Obenchain. This is traditionally updated post-fire meetings every morning.

Jackson County Emergency Management: Daily updates on what the fires look like – as well as emergency shelter information.

Air Quality: This is the best place to look if you’re wondering about the air quality

Freeway Information: We have seen freeways and highways be closed and get pretty congested. This is the best place to check for the latest from ODOT. This is a live map that changes as the conditions change.

Jackson County Flash Alert: This was giving information, but has kind of turned it over to Jackson County Emergency Management. HOWEVER, if the Sheriff’s Office says it’s sending out a news release – this is where it should be.

Citizen Alert: I only received one alert from this program so I’m pretty positive it’s not working. However, I would highly suggest you sign up. I believe the county is aware it’s not working – so that can only mean it will work eventually. I hope. 😉

Download the PulsePoint App: This app will tell you about the 911 calls police/paramedics/fire are responding to.  You will need to add the different departments once you get into the app. I have added Medford Fire-Rescue, Jackson County Fire District 3, Jackson County Fire District #5, Jacksonville Fire Department, Medford Fire-Rescue, Jackson County Fire District 4. You can add any other agency that comes to your mind.

Listen to the Scanner: This is my least favorite way to obtain news, but here it is.

Facebook Pages to Follow:

Almeda Fire Updates: Almeda and Obenchain Fire Information 
*this is a mis-titled Facebook page, it is only for the Almeda fire now*

South Obenchain Fire Updates

Jackson County Emergency Management

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office

Medford Fire Department

City of Medford, Local Government

What to do in Southern Oregon is doing a really great, comprehensive job of keeping us updated on donation sites

Where Can I Watch the News?

I have had a few people ask me about where the news actually plays. This is something we learned would happen over and over again when I was in college. The reality is – my generation doesn’t watch the news.. and we are now needing to be plugged in.

Here’s your comprehensive picture of where to watch the news.

Mail Tribune

This is your newspaper. As you know, the Mail Tribune sponsors Happiness in Progress. But even so, I appreciate their comprehensive news. This is the first place I look for updates.

If you don’t get the physical paper – you can get the latest on their website.

KTVL

This is on channel 10 if you have cable. You can also find it on a higher channel… check your guide for KTVL.

Don’t have cable? No worries.

You can find it live during a newscast (or during some news conferences) by going to KTVL.com.

KTVL has newscasts every weekday at 5 a.m. – 7 a.m., noon, 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

KOBI

This is on channel 5 if you have cable. You can also find it on a higher channel… check your guide for KOBI.

Don’t have cable? No worries.

You can find it live during a newscast by going to kobi5.com. You’ll see a red banner at the top of the page. Look to the right and click on “Watch NBC5 Live.”

KOBI has newscasts every weekday at 5:30 a.m. – 7 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. It’s weekend shows run at 6p and 11p.

KDRV

This is on channel 12 if you have cable. You can also find it on a higher channel… check your guide for KDRV.

Don’t have cable? No worries.

You can find it live during a newscast (or during some news conferences) by going to kobi5.com. You’ll want to click on the three lines on the very left top of the page. Once you’re there, go down to “watch now.” From there you’ll want to click “watch live.”

KDRV has newscasts every weekday at 5:00 a.m. – 7 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. It’s weekend shows run at 8 a.m. and through the night, but it looks like they’ll be preempted for sports. It looks like they’ll have an 8 p.m. special for you on Saturday (9/12) – I’m assuming it will be on the fire.

News Social Media Pages

Mail Tribune – A friend of mine runs the Mail Tribune social pages. She is a rock star. Check out their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They’re doing the best at widespread coverage over social media pages.

KTVL – They’re rocking it on rolling the live fire news conferences on their Facebook page. Check out Twitter here.

KOBI – They’ve been rolling a live view of the valley with their skycam from the Rogue Valley Manor. (It may be smoked out right now). They’ve also been connecting the scanner audio to it (and by “they” I mean another friend of mine ;)) Get to Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links.

Also, side note – the man who runs the skycam lost his home in the Almeda fire. If you’d like to help him – go here.

KDRV – The best thing about this Facebook page is their anchors do regular Facebook Live reports. Here’s their twitter.

Specific Reporters to Follow

Ryan Pfiel on Twitter – I have received 99% of my updates from Ryan.

Alicia Rubin on Instagram – she’s keeping up with the donation needs in her stories

Matt Jordan on Twitter – he puts up his weather maps a couple times a day

This is definitely not a complete list – these happen to be people I respect in the industry who are also good at updating their following. Many people are excellent journalists who focus more on different aspects of the job. It’s A LOT – especially now that social media is in the picture. 😉

And finally – there’s not a local news person who has an agenda against you. Just wanted to squash those rumors. You’re welcome.

Stay safe, friends.

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