aNearly 100 evacuations were carried out in a troop of RVs, cars and tents, near Elk’s Lodge in Milwaukee, Oregon, behind Tea Grass, Creekside Park.
Some, like Eric Sams, a lumber mill worker, had been evacuated twice in recent times.
“First we were in Oregon City, then they moved us here.”
Sam said that he, his wife and their three teenage children had fled to Molala on Tuesday from the grounds of Clackamas Community College. Then, late on Thursday, the college, along with much of Oregon City, was elevated to a level two fire hazard warning.
Sam’s employer, also located near Mollala, had closed its doors in what only a film could describe. A picture on his phone showed the family’s home a few days ago, bathed in a red-blood red light refracted through thick smoke.
Now, the family drifted off to sleep, some in their single tent, some in their car.
“It’s hard to buy a tent because everyone wants one,” Sam said.
One-tenth of the state’s population was in Oregon with at least half a million people with evacuation orders as of Thursday evening, with a fire for evacuation of a large portion of the Clackamas County southeast of the Portland metropolitan area. The Guardian reported that Meg Kravchuk, a pyrographographer at Oregon State University, had not seen such intense rash in parts of Oregon in 300 to 400 years.
Shiney Summers of Hamili Priory, southeast of Molala, was also removed twice as a fire hazard area on Thursday.
Summer and her boyfriend, David Playa, were camping in a compound of three tents with Christopher Smith and Sydney Vandenbreder, another young couple who fled the area around Molalla.
Also, there were four cats in the living area, including a playful ginger kitten and two small dogs. (The PLA, who lives in Madras, but climbed atop Mount Hood to help evacuate Summers, remarked that he had “brought all the animals except the horse”, which remained in the Dickey prairie.)
Summers was living in the same house as his grandmother and great-grandmother, now living in Milwaukee with other relatives.
When they came out on Wednesday, the smoke was so thick that “you could barely see me”, he said, indicating visibility of about 6 feet.
Summers said she almost fainted as she was packing her things to leave. “I’m never scared,” he said.
He said, “Now we don’t know if we have a home to go back to.”
The fire did not recognize a familiar environment. “You can see the orange glow on the horizon,” Summers said, and the ground was littered with “ash-shaped pieces of ash.”
Asked if his grandmother or great-grandmother could recall the circumstances he had recently encountered, Summers said “the only reference to such an ash fall is Mount St. Helens”, which was the southernmost in 1980 Washington refers to a volcanic eruption of a mountain, which deposited thick ash in the streets of Portland and other parts of northwest Oregon.
Her friend Christopher Smith said that in recent days in Molla, there were “piles of ash in the streets”.
Smith said there were at least 50 people left in Mollah and “really moved on”. They were now investigating “patrolling” neighbors and streets.
He said he had read on a Facebook page associated with the community that “they found some people who were trying to set fire and chase them”, but admitted that the group was not the most reliable source of information.
“There’s so much there.” You never know what is true and what is not. “
On Thursday in Molalla, three journalists were confronted by three civilians armed with assault rifles and ordered to leave the city.
Meanwhile, Christina Kerovec of Oregon City, was seated at a picnic table with her Golden Retriever Emma, with whom she was sharing a small tent.
He said that he never experienced anything like fire, or weather conditions. She had lived all her life in Oregon City, she added, but the dry winds that swept the area before the fire came were an event that “did not happen until I came to the notice”.
He said that a healthy wisteria vine on his chicken run had “completely dried out” from the wind. “It sucked the moisture out of it”.
Kerovecz blamed the events mostly on one factor: “If we didn’t have global warming, none of it would be as severe”.
At the lavish, mid-century Elks Hall, Sue Michel merrily showed piles of canned food, toilet paper, bottled water and other items, which were the fruit of a “heavy community reaction”, but said they were still short of tents And many people who were coming “with nothing” after fleeing their homes.
As she described the charitable efforts of Brother’s Order, more local residents arrived with additional donations, and she said local businesses and restaurants had pitched in with catering and supplies.
Ellax was coordinating that the generosity of the community’s response was unanimous.
“It’s all very stressful,” Kerovec commented, “but people are so kind”.
Manvi Singh contributed to this report