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Mar-21-2019 19:14printcomments

More Fire Crews Join Fight Against 189-Acre Santiam Park Fire

Much of the fire is in a high public use area

Santiam Fire
Crews from Coffee Creek Female Correctional Facility fight the Santiam Fire. Photo: Oregon Dept. of Forestry

(LYONS, Ore.) - The Santiam Park Fire was reported Tuesday afternoon near the North Santiam State Recreational Area off Highway 22, growing to 60 acres in the first day causing evacuation orders for nearby homes. At this time, the fire is reported to be 100 percent lined and covering 189 acres.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No structures have been lost and no injuries reported.

Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Command transitioned Incident Commanders today, with Allison Blair stepping in for Blake Ellis.

“Taking over the fire as Incident Commander at this stage is very humbling,” Blair said, “seeing the dedication of our firefighters and staff reminds us why we’re here; to ensure we leave the land in the best, safest condition for the landowners.

"This isn’t the glamorous part of the job, but it is vital to the community we serve.”

Favorable weather conditions are aiding over 100 personnel in fire suppression efforts. Today, crews from Coffee Creek Female Correctional Facility and the Willamette National Forest joined ODF and private contract crews on the fire line.

Focused on finding and extinguishing hot spots and strengthening containment lines, crews are steadily progressing toward the interior of the fire.

Given much of the fire is in a high public use area, rehabilitating the land for future public use is a priority and a practice in good stewardship.

Resources engaged on the fire include 4 engines, 2 tenders, a dozer and multiple hand crews. The Type 2 helicopter used during initial and extended attack was released late Wednesday afternoon to Washington Department of Natural Resources.

This fire that was sparked on Tuesday is a reminder of threats posed by wildfires to homes and property.

The Oregon Department of Forestry reports that 42 homes and 30 outbuildings initially were threatened by the fire. The fire impacted 189 acres of brush and timber. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, evacuation levels in Linn and Marion counties were lifted.

The Office of State Fire Marshal wants to remind residents to make sure their homes are protected from wildfire. The start of spring is a good time to take these steps:

  • Keep roofs, gutters, and eaves clear of all leaves, pine needles, and other flammable debris.
  • Remove dead vegetation a minimum of 30 feet around your house.
  • Prune trees and have grass kept short and green to keep fire on the ground and more manageable by firecrews.
  • Remember, call before you burn yard debris. Residents should check with their local fire agency or air protection authority to learn if there are any burning restrictions and if a permit is required.

Homeowners have a responsibility to protect their homes by building defensible space. For more information, visit the websites for the Office of State Fire Marshal, Keep Oregon Green, and the Oregon Department of Forestry, or call your nearest ODF or forest protective association office.

Source: News Release from Oregon Dept. of Forestry

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