On the fire lines of the Holiday Farm Fire
Fire crews are working to build lines around the Holiday Farm Fire as weather threatens to undo their work.
Evacuation zones for the Holiday Farm Fire continue to be downgraded, as the fire is now 14% contained and burned 173,025 acres as of Sunday morning.
On Sunday, Lane County announced that there are no Level 3 “go now” evacuation notices in effect.
Although evacuation levels are lowered, 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 at milepost 46.3 for safety, response and repair work, the county said.
“While there is no longer a Level 3 evacuation zone, ODOT has enacted a road closure on McKenzie Highway because of the dangers there,” Lane County Sheriff Cliff Harold said.
Hazard trees are being removed and additional road repairs are needed.
“We have 23 miles of — I hate to say — a catastrophic failure” of the trees, said ODOT District 5 Manager Jim Gamble. “We do not want an injury.”
The fire moved through the area with such ferocity that it completely burned out the undergrowth and vegetation that was keeping loose, cobblestone-like rock and rock spires from the road. Tree roots and structure also have been scorched and are now falling, contributing to an already dangerous situation, Gamble explained.
Residents accessing reopened areas are asked to avoid barricaded locations for their own safety. Fire-damaged structures can be extremely hazardous and residents are encouraged to have professionals assess and deal with damaged areas once those areas open for return.
Exposure to toxic substances (including asbestos) and eye, lung and skin impact from ash and other irritants are an additional risk. See more at lanecounty.org/mckenziefire_resources.
ODOT has requested support from the Lane County Sheriff’s Office with enforcing ODOT’s closures and authority of the situation, so there will be a high visibility of patrol remaining in the area.
The Level 2 “be set” evacuation status reflects that fire danger has only subsided in that area enough to allow residents access to the area so they can make additional preparations for their homes, livestock or other animals. Level 2 notices still mean that there is significant danger to the area and residents are encouraged to voluntarily relocate.
The downgrading of the evacuation notice does not mean that fire behavior may change and warrant a return to Level 3 “go now” notification at a moment’s notice. Emergency responders may not have time to provide you with additional notice if danger increases.
Lane County’s Holiday Farm Fire non-emergency call center hours change
Lane County’s non-emergency call center for those affected by the Holiday Farm Fire is adjusting its hours to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily beginning Monday, Sept. 21, the county said Sunday.
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.
Those affected by the fire also can call helplines offering emotional and disaster stress support or visit the Graduate Hotel for in-person crisis support through Lane County Behavioral Health:
- Emotional Support Line: 1-800-923-4357
- 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.), Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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Current evacuation levels, as of Sunday
While the Holiday Farm Fire is far from over, residents can take the easing of evacuations as a win. As of Sunday, Sept. 20, the Level 3 “GO NOW” notices for residents have been moved to Level 2 “be set”.
Areas on Level 2 “be set” evacuation notice:
- Highway 126 between Camp Creek Road and McKenzie Ranger Station, including connecting roads.
- Deerhorn Road and connecting roads from the west entrance at Highway 126 to the last residential property.
Level 2 (“be set”) indicates there is significant danger to your area and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area. Be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
Areas on Level 1 “be ready” evacuation notice:
- The Fall Creek and Winberry areas.
- Camp Creek Road east of Oak Point Road, Upper Camp Creek Road and Wendling.
- Highway 126 from McKenzie Ranger Station to the junction of Highway 126 and Highway 20 (Santiam Junction).
Level 1 (“be ready”) means be aware of the danger that exists in your area and prepare for possible evacuation.
More: Best of Instagram: #HolidayFarmFire
By the numbers, Sunday
Details about Holiday Farm Fire resources, as of Sunday, via the Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team:
- Estimated Size: 173,025 acres
- Containment: 14% (+2%)
- Cause: Unknown
- Personnel: 1,032 (+29)
- Hand Crews: 30 (+2)
- Engines: 46 (+5)
- Dozers: 30
- Water Tenders: 29 (+7)
- Other Heavy Equipment: 3
- Assigned Aircraft: 7
- Structure Task Forces: 0 (-4)
- Injuries: 3 (+2)
- 911 have been destroyed (complete destruction of structure)
- 9 failed (high risk, may be subject to sudden collapse)
- 41 damaged (medium risk, structure is moderately damaged)
- 576 no damage reported (low risk, low probability of future collapse) (+142)
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.
Evacuation canceled for Thurston, downgraded for some Highway 126 areas
The Level 1 (“be ready”) evacuation notice for the Thurston area has been canceled, Lane County announced Friday afternoon.
The Level 3 (“go now”) evacuation notice has been downgraded to a Level 2 (“be set”) for the remaining residents along Deerhorn Road. Deerhorn Road remains closed to all traffic except residents, according to a county news release.
The Level 3 evacuation notice has been downgraded to a Level 2 for residents along the Highway 126 corridor to milepost 23.75 (just west of the Leaburg Dam) with the exception of Mountain View Lane beyond the intersection with Lure Lane.
Residents accessing reopened areas are asked to avoid barricaded locations for their own safety. Fire-damaged structures can be extremely hazardous and the county advises residents to have professionals assess and deal with damaged areas once those areas open for return. See more at lanecounty.org/mckenziefire_resources.
Residents should be aware that the change to Level 2 reflects that fire danger has only subsided in that area enough to allow residents access to the area so they can make additional preparations for their homes, livestock or other animals, according to the county. They should expect that if fire behavior increases these areas may return to Level 3 and residents must be able to leave again at a moment’s notice.
Level 2 means there is significant danger and residents should either voluntarily relocate or be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Emergency responders may not have time to provide additional notice if danger increases, according to the county news release.