Nine firefighters and three vehicles from the Lebanon Fire District have helped battle the Beachie Creek wildfire for the past week.
The firefighters were sent on Tuesday, September 8, and joined other crews in working 12-hour shifts to fight the fire, which has devastated communities in the Santiam Canyon. The Lebanon firefighters are engaged in direct fire attack support, as well as providing structural protection and evacuation support.
Lebanon Fire Chief Joseph Rodondi said the department is also coordinating with the neighboring fire departments in Scio and Sweet Home. Lebanon crews are providing backup for those departments which are more actively involved in fighting the fires which have approached those communities.
"We are in constant contact with our partner agencies in Scio and Sweet Home," Rodondi said.
To meet all of these demands, Rodondi said, the Lebanon department has relied heavily on its entire team of full-time and volunteer firefighters.
"We have increased our staffing levels this week," Rodondi said.
In addition to providing fire support, the fire department is also working to make sure the public is receiving the most accurate, up-to-date information available.
Rodondi said the Linn County Sheriff's Office is the best source of accurate updates on the fires and the current evacuation levels and zones.
"What I would encourage people to do is go to the Linn County Sheriff's Office website," Rodondi said. "The most important thing is to have accurate, consistent information."
This site can be found online at www.linnsheriff.org/. There are detailed maps on the site and these maps can be searched by address to see if any evacuation notices are in effect.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has an application available for smart phones which also provides useful updates. It can be found at www.fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/app.
The City of Lebanon has opened Cheadle Lake Park for use by individuals who have been impacted by the evacuations. People can park vehicles and trailers in the posted lot at Cheadle Lake Park. There are not facilities available at the park for animals at this time.
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