Canby community rallies around evacuees from Riverside Fire

Clackamas County

Donations are still needed

CANBY, Ore. (KOIN) — Communities across Oregon are stepping up to help those who have been forced out of their homes. At the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby, the donations have been flooding in all weekend.

Inside the donation room is everything from pallets of water to food for animals and blankets for evacuees. About three dozen people are currently staying at the evacuation center—some in their cars, others in their trailers. More than 700 animals have been evacuated to the fairgrounds, with more on the way.

In addition to the donations, other businesses in Canby have offered to help, including Pappy’s Greasy Spoon. Owner Michael Merrill opened up the restaurant on Saturday to help feed displaced people and those fighting the fires.

Pappy’s Greasy Spoon owner Michael Merrill. September 12, 2020 (KOIN)

“I know there’s a lot of displaced people in this town, and I wanted them to feel welcome here and get something to eat,” said Merrill. “If I was a rich man, I’d give it to them, but after all the virus stuff this year, it’s been a tough deal staying in business. But I’m still in business.”

“It can be emotional sometimes because you hear their stories,” said Sally West, the livestock manager at the fairgrounds. “People have been coming in that are fighting the fires and you can tell that they’ve been out there on the line and they’ve lost stuff.”

Staff at the fairgrounds say many companies, such as Winco and Coastal Farm and Ranch, have stepped up to make sure everyone is fed. The sheriff’s office also sent personnel to assist with the intake of animals.

Back in the donation room, folks still need some help. Items of the highest priority right now are: food, sleeping bags, blankets, warm clothing, and tents.

Pallets of water are stacked up in the donation room at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby, Ore. — an evacuation center for people fleeing from the Riverside Fire. September 12, 2020 (KOIN)

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