Nearly half a million acres have burned statewide due to dozens of active wildfires, and another blaze is slowly approaching the Linn County line from the south.
The Holiday Farm Fire, originating in the Lane County community of Rainbow, is now causing the evacuation of Linn communities lying primarily between Brush Creek and the Calapooia River.
Area residences near the intersection of Upper Calapooia Drive and Highway 228 were evacuated after a Level 3 wildfire warning was issued after 3 p.m. As of 5 p.m., parts of Holley were split between Levels 2 and 3, Crawfordsville was split between 1 and 2, while Greenville, Sweet Home and Foster were in Level 1.
“This fire has been one that has been dynamic,” said Brian Richardson, a spokesman for the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office. “It is fast-moving.”
As of Wednesday evening, it had torn through over 105,000 acres. According to the State of Oregon Fires and Hotspots Dashboard, the blaze spans east to west at least from Rainbow to Mount Nebo and north to south at least from the Linn County line to down past Nimrod.
Some 81 personnel, four water tenders and 17 engines have been deployed to contain the Holiday Farm Fire, according to a news release from the Fire Marshal's Office and the Oregon Department of Forestry.
The Lane County communities of Blue River and Vida have been heavily impacted by the fire, with most structures in Blue River and many in Vida destroyed, the news release said. Firefighters were able to save McKenzie High School in Blue River.
Paula Negele, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, urged people facing the threat of evacuation to list themselves on the American Red Cross Safe and Well registry, which can be found at safeandwell.communityos.org. In the event of natural disasters, she said, people in search of loved ones often call emergency responders who don’t have up-to-date information on missing people.
“If you are evacuated or even before you are evacuated … the Red Cross Safe and Well program is a really great way for people to get that information,” Negele said. “But people have to register, so the people that are in the fire line need to go in there and say, ‘I’m OK,’ and update it when they have to leave.”
Negele added that all Oregonians outside of level two and three zones should take this time, “while there still is time,” to do an inventory of their home, pack go-bags and coordinate plans with family and friends.
“For your own comfort and safety, you will want to have a plan, and now is the time to be putting that together,” she said. “Really be prepared to leave everything behind.”
Reporter Nia Tariq can be reached at 541-812-6091 and email@example.com.
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