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Corvallis Prepares For Widescale Wildfire Evacuation Drill


Thousands of people in the Corvallis area will be asked to leave their homes Saturday morning as part of a wildfire evacuation drill.



People in nine neighborhoods both inside and outside Corvallis city limits will be given an evacuation notice and instructions on where to head for shelter. It’s only a drill, and the people in those neighborhoods have been told that ahead of time.

It’s a way to practice for the real thing in advance of what could be another active wildfire season in Oregon, said Corvallis emergency planning manager Dave Busby. 

“What we’re looking at is really just to allow community members the opportunity to walk through the process of an evacuation," he said. "Because unless you’ve actually done something like that, it is a very chaotic, emotional experience.” 

Busby says he’s hoping up to 40 percent of the two-thousand households in the included neighborhoods take part.


Corvallis isn't the first place most Oregonians think of when it comes to wildfires, although a 2014 blaze threatened homes and prompted evacuations in the city. Busby pointed out that last year's devastating wildfires that affected many Oregon communities, including urban areas.


"I don't think anybody would argue the point after the Labor Day fires and looking at the fire season coming up that the need to be ready for evacuation is very strong," he said.


Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”