Blue River

Tiffany Eckert

One year ago, the Morris family experienced a total loss. Their three homes and their artesian water bottling facility in Blue River burned to the ground. Today, just after the first anniversary of the Holiday Farm fire—they have something to celebrate. 

Brian Bull / KLCC

More than a hundred residents of Oregon’s McKenzie River Corridor retraced the 27-mile long path of last year’s Holiday Farm Fire last night.  The wildfire decimated much of the area, including the town of Blue River, when it erupted on Labor Day 2020.  And a year later, many residents are still recovering from the devastation.  

Brian Bull / KLCC

Today marks one year since a series of devastating wildfires erupted across Oregon, including the Holiday Farm Fire.  The destruction of McKenzie River Corridor communities such as Blue River still resonates deeply with locals.

Brian Bull / KLCC

A monument to resiliency and rebirth now stands in the McKenzie River Corridor town of Blue River, which was ravaged by last year’s Holiday Farm Fire.  The metal phoenix sculpture – called “Viribus” was installed Thursday morning and will watch over Blue River as it rebuilds.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Oregon lawmakers have allocated funds towards a new fire station in Blue River, nearly a year after the original burned down.  

Brian Bull / KLCC

Nearly a year after the disaster, funding continues to help communities hit by the Holiday Farm Fire rebuild.

Brian Bull / KLCC

The U.S. Basketball Academy in Blue River has become a new site for FEMA temporary housing.  Families displaced by last year’s Holiday Farm Fire are the tenants.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Oregon Governor Kate Brown came to the fire-ravaged community of Blue River today, to see rebuilding efforts.  

Brian Bull / KLCC

Rebuilding across the fire-ravaged areas of the McKenzie River Corridor proceeds at a modest pace. As one official pointed out to KLCC, residents face a number of challenges.

Brian Bull / KLCC

With torches, grinders, and a gift for bringing new dimensions to old metal, sculptor Jud Turner is crafting a monument to  survivors of the Holiday Farm Fire.  It burned 173,000 acres in the McKenzie River Corridor last September, leveling towns like Blue River. KLCC’s Brian Bull produced this audio self-narrative, where Turner describes his project. 


Onward Eugene

The Blue River community will get more resilient internet access thanks to a national grant announced Tuesday. The rural area was devastated by the Holiday Farm Fire last September.


Christiana Rainbow Plews

Five months after the devastating Holiday Farm fire, the Upper McKenzie Fire District Chief announced she’ll take a leave of absence. The 30-year fire-fighting veteran will focus on her mental health.


Christiana Rainbow Plews

During last fall’s devastating wildfires, Oregon firefighters were on the front lines-- and the public was grateful. But the job takes a toll. The Institute of American Firefighters finds up to 37% of first responders meet the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD. KLCC has this story of a Lane County Fire Chief who recognized her distress and had the courage to ask for help.

Brian Bull / KLCC

The last five and a half months have been a struggle for residents of the McKenzie River Corridor. After the Holiday Farm Fire ravaged the area, winter brought floods, mudslides, and collapsing trees. But this weekend, three organizations converged on the town of Blue River, to give a helping hand. 


Brian Bull / KLCC

It’s been almost five months now since the Holiday Farm Fire blazed through the McKenzie River Corridor. It destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses in communities like Blue River and Vida.

KLCC talked to Lane County’s long-term recovery manager for the incident, Matt McRae, on the current state of the fire-ravaged area.


Tom Atkinson / R3digital

Community members are raising money to help rebuild the Blue River Library, which was one of hundreds of structures destroyed in the Holiday Farm Fire last September.

Tiffany Eckert

The Holiday Farm fire along the McKenzie River destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, including Oregon’s oldest rural health clinic. With many patients displaced, Orchid health staff set about creating a *mobile clinic.  They saw their first patients Monday.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Winter is coming…and for residents of the McKenzie River Corridor, that means further hardship on top of the Holiday Farm Fire that destroyed more than 400 homes in September. But helpers are preparing in advance.

Tiffany Eckert

The Holiday Farm fire destroyed nearly every structure in the remote town of Blue River and cut McKenzie Valley residents off from key services: the post office, the library, the general market. Especially critical was the loss of the medical clinic. But as the community is learning, it’s not so much the buildings that make the difference --it’s the people.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Clean-up crews with the EPA continue to remove hazardous waste from wildfire-stricken areas. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports from Blue River, which was devastated by the Holiday Farm Fire in September.

Tom Atkinson / R3digital

The library was one of hundreds of buildings in Blue River destroyed by the Holiday Farm Fire last month. Community members are already thinking about how to rebuild it.


Melanie Stanley; Inciweb.

Many small businesses were destroyed or damaged in last month’s wildfires. KLCC spoke with one store owner in Blue River who’s hopeful her business – and community – rebound.  

Tom Atkinson

Many people evacuated from areas near the massive Holiday Farm Fire are returning home.  But locals from one of the most ravaged communities are facing severe hardships. 

Christiana Rainbow Plews

Christiana Rainbow Plews has been making national headlines of late. She’s the Upper McKenzie District Fire Chief who lost her home and fire station in the Holiday Farm fire. 

Plews is one of fewer than 50 women in the nation to hold the title of fire chief. She’s been credited for saving lives when ordering “Get Out Now” evacuations for most of the McKenzie River Valley, when the fire blew up on Labor Day.

Andy Nelson / Register Guard/pool

The Holiday Farm Fire has consumed over 170,000 acres, and destroyed more than 500 structures.  Some residents who fled last week have recently been able to return to check on their homes.  In the cause of Tim Laue, a former Eugene City Councilor and now Blue River resident, the experience was devastating: the home he and his wife shared, along with a guest cottage, were burned to the foundations.

KLCC’s Brian Bull talked to Laue about when he and his wife evacuated late Labor Day night.

Colton Morris

Evacuation during the Holiday Farm fire on the McKenzie River has been a frightening ordeal for many residents. This is the experience of one Blue River man who lost his home but saved his family.