13-year-old boy, grandma die in Lyons wildfire

Wildfires

The boy's mom is in critical condition at a hospital, family members say

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to show that Wyatt Tofte was 13 years old, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

LYONS, Ore. (KOIN) — A boy and his grandma have died in a wildfire burning near Lyons, KOIN 6 News learned Wednesday.

A family member told KOIN 6 News the 13-year-old boy, identified as Wyatt Tofte, was found dead in the area of North Fork Road east of Mehama. Volunteers had been searching for him since he ran from his home as the Santiam Canyon wildfire approached on Tuesday afternoon, the family member said.

The boy’s grandmother was also killed in the fire and his mom was in critical condition at a hospital, according to the boy’s cousin.

Deputies confirmed the news to the boy’s father Wednesday afternoon.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said they launched a search and rescue mission Wednesday after receiving reports of a missing boy and his dog. Searchers, firefighters and utility crews had to clear a path through fallen debris along roadways to reach the area, where they found the remains of the boy and his dog inside a vehicle. Deputies haven’t confirmed his identity at this time. They said a second victim was also found.

Search and rescue crews clear a path on North Fork Road near Mehama, Sept. 9, 2020. (Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

Wyatt was the great-grandson of the founder of Enchanted Forest in Turner, according to a statement from the amusement park. Enchanted Forest named his grandmother as Peggy Mosso.

Fueled by dry winds since Labor Day, the Beachie Creek and Lionshead fires have gutted several Santiam Canyon communities, including Detroit and Mill City.

The Beachie Creek Fire alone has burned more than 132,000 acres, while the Lionshead fire has burned more than 105,000 acres. Only the Lionshead fire was reporting any containment as of Wednesday afternoon, which was at 5% by 4 p.m.

GoFundMe for Tofte Family

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