McKenzie Fire Chief And Crew Lose Homes, Station While Fighting Holiday Farm Fire

Sep 14, 2020

The Fire Chief of the Upper McKenzie Rural District and a half dozen crew members have lost their own homes while fighting the Holiday Farm fire. 

McKenzie District Fire Chief Rainbow Plews stands before the burnt out rubble of her Station House in Blue River.
Credit McKenzie Upper Fire District

As a brush fire grew out of control on the McKenzie Highway last Monday night, Christiana Rainbow Plews- known to all as “Chief Rainbow”- issued an evacuation order. 29-year old Kiger Plews, lived next door to his mom in the Vida area. He says they thought their homes, would be fine.

“And she got told before she drove by it that it was not fine,” said Plews. “Both the houses were completely gone. Nothing left but rubble and ash. She said she cried, she said she puked. She hugged people and then she went right back out to do it again.”

McKenzie Upper District Fire Chief Christiana Rainbow Plews ascended to her leadership role in October, 2018. She is one of the only female chiefs anywhere in these parts.
Credit Christiana Rainbow Plews

Plews is proud of his mom for following her dreams to become one of the few female fire chiefs in the western U.S. He says his family and the entire community are devastated.

Kiger and his mom, Chief Rainbow Plews on the McKenzie River. Both mother and son lost their homes in the Labor Day Holiday Farm fire.
Credit Kiger Plews

“She wasn’t the only one. And she would be the first to tell you cause she’s one of the most selfless people I know,” he said. “She has volunteers who had the same thing happen. They were out fighting it—still are—and they have nowhere to go.”

The Blue River fire station was also destroyed in the blaze.

"Nothing but ash and rubble" remains of the homes of Chief Rainbow Plews and her son, Kiger Plews. The houses were destroyed while Chief Plews and crews were working other parts of the Holiday Farm fire on the McKenzie River.
Credit Plews family
The Plews family lost two homes to the Holiday Farm fire. Chief Rainbow Plews and her McKenzie Upper District fire crew continued to fight the fire as their own homes burned.
Credit Plews family