MCKENZIE RIVER — The Holiday Farm Fire started Monday, Sept. 7, although the exact cause isn’t yet known. The fire is currently (5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8) burning on both sides of Highway 126 and the McKenzie River, according to a press release from the Oregon State fire marshal. It is moving west from approximately mile post 47 and is currently two miles past Vida. The fire is estimated at 37,000 acres.
At 2:33 a.m. Gov. Kate Brown declared this fire a conflagration. This allows local resources from across the state to help, however firefighting resources are extremely scarce due to the large number of fires burning in Oregon and along the entire west coast.
There were a number of residents who were unable to evacuate due to roads blocked by fire and debris. After several roads were cleared, firefighters helped 46 people escape the evacuation zone this afternoon.
Three Lane County Task Force teams responded around 8:30 p.m. last night to help fight the fire. They were blocked in due to fallen debris on roads. The crews were in a safe area and no firefighters have been injured. As of 1:45 p.m. today the road has been cleared and the firefighters were able to return to the firefight. Rescue, evacuation work and road clearing continue throughout the area.
Despite the hard work of firefighters, the fast-moving flames have destroyed homes and structures last night and today. Crews are diligently working to find anyone still trapped in their homes and will assess the damage over the coming days.
This fire damaged communications towers throughout the area. Communications are limited along the Highway 126 corridor. Teams are actively working to reestablish effective communications.
Additional wild land fire suppression resources, including an Oregon Department of Forestry Type 1 Incident Management Team, are continuing to arrive. These personnel will be looking for every opportunity to attack the fire directly.
Conditions will make rapid fire spread likely for at least the next two days; a red flag warning remains in effect until Thursday. Winds are blowing smoke and ash from the Holiday Farm Fire throughout the area.
Evacuations remain in effect due to this fire, impacting the communities of Vida, Blue River, Mohawk, McKenzie Bridge, Leesburg and Waterville.
Resources for Evacuees:
The updated evacuation point is Thurston High School for those in Blue River and west of Blue River. People east of Blue River are encouraged to travel east to the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond (3800 SE Airport Way).
Williamalane has opened the Bob Keefer Center (250 S. 32nd St., Springfield, OR 97478) and the Williamalane Adult Activity Center (215 W. C St., Springfield, OR 97477) as temporary rescue shelters for community members who have been evacuated or lost power.
Start Date and Cause:
September 7, unknown
Ian Yocum, Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Red Team
For Additional Information