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More Crews And A Change In The Weather Help On Holiday Farm Fire

Andy Nelson
Register-Guard /pool

The Lane County Sheriff reduced some evacuation levels in the Mohawk Valley Saturday on the Holiday Farm Fire east of Springfield.  

(details below)

The fire is at more than 161,826 acres and 0% contained.

But, fire officials are hopeful they can start reinforcing containment lines thanks to an influx of help. There are now more than 500 people fighting the fire, more than twice what they had earlier this week.

“A significant jump and one that we really needed.” Said Damon Simmons with the Holiday Farm Fire. “So that lets us spread personnel out around the fire because we are still in an active firefight. There’s still a lot of fire out there on the ground that we’re trying to get around.”

Simmons said the weather has also made firefighting easier. An inversion layer is keeping smoke in and air quality poor, but it is also slowing fire activity.

The fire has claimed at least one life. Fire personnel found a body Friday in around Vida. Saturday, crews were searching for more victims and assessing the fire’s damage.

The Holiday Farm Fire sparked Monday along Highway 126 near the community of Blue River and grew exponentially prompting evacuations. More info on evacuations at lanecounty.org/mckenziefire

From Lane Co. Sheriff Saturday:

The evacuation level for many residents in the Mohawk Valley has been downgraded from a Level 3 (GO NOW) to a Level 2 (Be Set). The downgraded area includes the Mohawk Valley to the Linn County line with two exceptions:

  • The area west of Marcola Road south of the intersection with Hill Road is being downgraded from a Level 2 (Be Set) to a Level 1 (Be Ready).
  • The area east of the Mohawk River from Wendling Road to the county line remains at Level 3 (GO NOW), including Wending Road, Paschelke Road, Hileman Road, Bunker Hill Road and Mohawk River Road and their connecting roads.

The evacuation level for residents along Highway 126 from Thurston Road to the intersection of Cedar Flat Road, including Cedar Flat Road and Camp Creek Road west of Upper Camp Creek Road, is also being downgraded from a Level 3 (GO NOW) to a Level 2 (Be Set).


Residents should be aware that the change to Level 2 (Be Set) 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. They should expect that if fire behavior increases these areas may return to Level 3 (GO NOW) and residents must be able to leave again at a moment’s notice.


Copyright 2020 KLCC

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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