Vehicle crash causes grass fire near Talent exit

By Ryan Pfeil For the Tidings

A vehicle crash sparked a grass fire off Interstate 5 just north of the Talent exit Thursday, slowing northbound traffic to a crawl for about a half hour.

The crash happened about noon when a white sport utility vehicle driven by a woman drove off the road and rolled, according to Ashland Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Matt Freiheit.

The vehicle caught fire, which quickly spread to grass along the highway. Other drivers stopped to render aid, helping the woman and her daughter get out of the vehicle, Freiheit said.

The woman and child received minor injuries. At least one of the occupants was transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.

Ashland Fire & Rescue sent an ambulance to the scene, while Jackson County Fire District 5 and the Oregon Department of Forestry dispatched two engines and a brush rig. The fire burned about one-tenth of an acre, according to ODF public information officer Melissa Cano.

The northbound slow lane was closed until about 12:30 p.m., according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. A second accident occurred during the traffic backup when a vehicle with two occupants skidded off the highway. They were not seriously injured.

Calls to Oregon State Police were not immediately returned.

— Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or [email protected]. Follow him at

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