For Fire Evacuees, An Anxious Wait To Go Back

Sep 15, 2020

Evacuation levels are being downgraded for some areas around the Holiday Farm Fire that’s burned over 166,000 acres and destroyed more than 300 structures.  As can be expected, evacuees are more than ready to come home.

Shelby Todd (left) and LeighAnn Blodgett (right) evacuated their homes last week when the Holiday Farm Fire spread across the McKenzie River Corridor area. They're currently staying at a local hotel in Eugene.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Crews are slowly containing the fire, which drove hundreds of people out of Vida, Blue River, and other towns last week. 

“It came within a mile and a half of my home, so far it’s still standing,” recalled LeighAnn Blodgett, from the Upper Mohawk Valley. 

I asked what she was able to leave with.

The evacuation zone map for the Holiday Farm Fire as of 9/14/20 at 2pm.
Credit Lane County

“Everything that was worth anything, even my lawn mower!” she laughed.

“My mom had recently had hip replacement surgery, and I’m her caregiver," said Shelby Todd of Marcola. "So Tuesday afternoon we left, and it was chaotic getting out even at Level 2, there were cars backed up on Marcola Road for miles.”

Both women are staying at the Graduate Hotel-Eugene for free, thanks to the Red Cross. Many hotels are near capacity with evacuees, who are anxious to get back and pick up the pieces. Forestry officials warn damage to the area poses short and long-term hazards.

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