On the fire line with the Oregon National Guard
The Holiday Farm Fire moves to the mop up stage
Evacuation notifications have been reduced for the Holiday Farm Fire so that only Level 1 (“be ready”) remain, however those may be upgraded at time, Lane County announced in a news release Thursday afternoon.
- The Level 2 (“be set”) evacuation notice for Highway 126E from milepost 21 (just west of Greenwood Drive) to milepost 49.5 (just west of Taylor Road) is now a Level 1.
- Deerhorn Road east of 42113 Deerhorn Road is now Level 1.
- The Level 2 evacuation notification for the Mohawk Valley has been downgraded to Level 1.
Lane County encourages residents to check its interactive map to determine the evacuation level of their residence.
Although evacuation levels are lowered, OR Hwy 126E may be closed by ODOT for hazard and debris removal. Please check Tripcheck.com for the road closure information.
The county asks residents accessing reopened areas to avoid barricaded locations for their own safety. Fire-damaged structures can be extremely hazardous and residents are encouraged to have professionals assess and assist with managing damaged areas once those areas open for return. See more at lanecounty.org/mckenziefire_resources.
Holiday Farm Fire at 35% containment
The Holiday Farm Fire, which started on Labor Day, stands at 173,094 acres and 35% contained, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. The Highway 126, the McKenzie Highway, remains closed between Leaburg Dam Road (mile 23.9) and McKenzie River Drive (mile 46.3).
Interactive map: Find out if your address is under evacuation notification.
Level 1 (“be ready”) evacuation notice for Highway 126 between milepost 21 (just west of Greenwood Drive) and milepost 49.5 (just west of Taylor Road), including connecting roads.
Level 1 evacuation notice for residents on Deerhorn Road east of 42113 Deerhorn and connecting roads.
Level 1 evacuation notice is in place for the eastern part of the Mohawk Valley that is largely non-residential.
Multi-agency resource center to re-open
A multi-agency resource center will again be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday at the Lane Events Center at 796 W. 13th Ave. for those affected by the Holiday Farm Fire. The goal is to provide information to keep people safe as they return to their properties and to help them connect with services and agencies, the county said in a news release.
“We’re trying to bring in services and assistance for a one-stop shop that folks will need,” MARC coordinator Mike Finch said. “They have a wide array of needs.”
The Resource Center brings together various agencies to provide information and support. This Friday the MARC includes representatives from Lane Electric, Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB), Lane County Elections, insurance companies, housing support agencies, Senior and Disabled Services, Environmental Health, Lane County Assessment and Taxation, waste and debris disposal coordinators, Medicare assistance, permit and land management staff, business assistance, Veteran Services, faith-based services and support, as well as mental health and medical support. Other agencies on hand to provide help are the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross, the McKenzie Community Development Corporation, McKenzie School District, the Hope Project, Department of Human Services (SNAP), Lane Community College, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation, the USDA and the Oregon Construction Contractors Board Field Services.
The MARC will also be available to those who have learned the status of their home or residence over the telephone and would like more information about those resources.
Finch said another MARC is planned at the Lane Events Center for Oct. 2 but the intent is to move future resource centers back up Highway 126 into the communities affected.
“We recognize that the area will be opening up in coming days,” Finch said, “and as that occurs we will partner with those communities to confirm appropriate venues to host a MARC closer to them.”
There is support available for those who have been affected by the Holiday Farm Fire:
- Emotional Support Line: 1(800)923-HELP (4357)
- Disaster Stress Helpline: 1(800)985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. This line is available in 100 languages, 24 hours a day 7 days a week
- In-person crisis support with Lane County Behavioral Health: The Graduate Hotel (66 E. 6th Ave Eugene, OR 97401), Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m.
The MARC is not a donation drop-off or pick-up location and is only open to those people whose homes and properties are in the fire area.
By the numbers, Thursday
Details about Holiday Farm Fire resources, as of Wednesday, via the Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team:
- Estimated Size: 173,094 acres
- Containment: 35% (+8%)
- Cause: Unknown
- Personnel: 1,009 (-48)
- Hand Crews: 30 (-2)
- Engines: 52 (-2)
- Dozers: 18 (-2)
- Water Tenders: 18
- Other Heavy Equipment: 3
- Assigned Aircraft: 7
- Structure Task Forces: 0
- Injuries: 6
- Destroyed residences: 431
- Destroyed non-residential commercial: 24
Oregon grieves for natural places wiped out by wildfires
DETROIT LAKE — Oregonians are grieving the loss of some of their most treasured natural places after wildfires wiped out campgrounds, hot springs and wooded retreats that have been touchstones for generations in a state known for its unspoiled beauty.
The flames that destroyed hundreds of homes and killed at least nine people also encroached on beloved state parks, scorched some of Oregon’s best-known hiking trails and raged through a whitewater rafting mecca.
“Nature is the icon in Oregon. We have this collective grief and some of that is (from) growing up here,” said Eden Dawn, an editor at Portland Monthly magazine who wrote an essay about the wildfires. “We just didn’t have New York City. We didn’t have Hollywood. We didn’t have these big fancy things, and Portland wasn’t cool until a few years ago.”
The fires damaged one of the nation’s last low-elevation, old-growth forests, which includes Douglas fir trees up to 1,000 years old. A forest center built on the ruins of an old mining town that hosted thousands of Oregon children was largely reduced to ashes.
Read the full story here.
Rainy weekend assists firefighters; victim identified
A rainy weekend helped to clear the air around the two-week-old Holiday Farm Fire, allowing more aerial efforts to control and understand the 170,600 acre conflagration.
The fire is 17% contained, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.
On Monday, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office Monday identified the only known fatality of the wildfire as 59-year-old David Perry, who lived in Vida off Goodpasture Road.
Search crews found Perry’s body inside a home on Sept. 11.
Helicopters with water buckets started dousing the fire Sunday, according to ODF spokesman Marcus Kauffman. He said those flights were set to continue Monday.
Kauffman said bucket drops were conducted north of the McKenzie Bridge area and around Cougar Lake. Dense smoke previously had made such flights impossible.
“We use those bucket drops to cool the spread and slow down the spread while we’re constructing line to keep the fire in its place,” Kauffman said.
Elevated levels of wind from the southwest and more rain are expected Wednesday.
Though warmer, drier weather is expected later this week, Kauffman said rain through the weekend made the fire more manageable as well as clearing the air for helicopters.
“The rain was a big help on the fire. That really knocked down fire behavior. It allowed us to go direct, to put our crews right up next to the fire’s edge,” Kauffman said. “It also moderated the spot fires we were seeing in places where it was slopping over the line.”
There now are at least 985 firefighting personnel on the Holiday Farm Fire, including 100 Canadian firefighters, 120 National Guard troopers and fire crews from 18 states.
Kauffman said the suppression strategy continues to be building fire lines on roads and ridges and stitching them together. The fire perimeter is about 260 miles long, he said.
“We can’t really touch every single acre,” Kauffman said.
More than 6,000 structures remain threatened by the fire, ODF reported Monday. The fire is known to have destroyed more than 430 homes, according to ODF.
On Sunday, Lane County announced there are no Level 3 “go now” evacuation notices in effect. Level 1 and Level 2 evacuation notices remain in affect for some areas.
“While there is no longer a Level 3 evacuation zone, ODOT has enacted a road closure on McKenzie Highway because of the dangers there,” Sheriff Cliff Harold said Sunday.
Highway 126 remains closed by the Oregon Department of Transportation between Leaburg Dam Road at milepost 23.9 and the west entrance of McKenzie River Drive.
Lane County’s non-emergency call center hours change
Lane County’s non-emergency call center for those affected by the Holiday Farm Fire adjusted its hours to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily beginning Monday. A decreasing call volume was cited as the reason for the adjustment.
Those with properties within the fire perimeter can call 541-682-3977 for information about their residences in the area, as well as to make other inquiries related to the fire.
Search and Rescue efforts underway in Holiday Farm Fire
A national search and rescue team has deployed to the Holiday Farm Fire disaster to assist local authorities in search and rescue efforts.