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Much of southern Oregon resort destroyed in fire

June 9, 2021 GMT

MERLIN, Ore. (AP) — A fire has destroyed much of a resort on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon, authorities said.

The Rural Metro fire department in Josephine County confirmed a “major fire incident” around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Galice Resort west of Grants Pass, The Statesman Journal reported.

Local, state and federal agencies responded to put out the blaze. The resort’s restaurant and store burned, while the lodge may have been less impacted, authorities said.

Oregon Forestry officials said the blaze spread to the wildland, igniting five small fires around the property and that helicopters and a plane were used in addition to firefighting on the ground to stop the fire from spreading.

Rural Metro firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire. Fire officials said no injuries were reported.

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Galice Resort has been at the center of Rogue River rafting and outdoor culture. It has a restaurant overlooking the river, cabins for rent, and offers shuttles, river trips and rentals.

Mary Lou Thomason, whose family has owned the combination restaurant, store and rafting service since 1981, told the Grants Pass Daily Courier, “It went so fast.”

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This story has been updated to correct to remove reference to boat shed being burned. Authorities now say it wasn’t damaged.