Editor’s note: New details on the Vitae Springs Fire can be found here.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Authorities have issued evacuation orders as crews fight a fire along Vitae Springs Road in Salem Friday evening.
As of 7:09 p.m., the Marion County Sheriff’s Office has issued Level 3 “Go Now” evacuations for:
- Vitae Springs Road between Skyline Road S to River Road
- West side of Skyline Road from Vitae Springs Road to Cole Road S
- Orville Road S
- Riversprings Road to Prospect Ridge
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office says Level 3 evacuations mean “danger to your area is current or imminent, and you should evacuate immediately.”
At 10:40 p.m. Friday, Marion County Sheriff’s Office announced Level 2 “Get Ready” evacuations in Marion and Polk counties.
Level 2 evacuations in Marion County include:
- River Road S at Sawmill Rd
- Sawmill Rd S
- South side of Ballyntyne Rd S
- Stonehill Ave S
- Jory Hill Rd S west of Elmhurst Ave S
- Elmhurst Ave S to Nehalem St S
- Cole Rd S west of Bates Rd S
- West side of Bates Rd S to Bunker Hill Rd S including the Chinook Estates neighborhood
- Bunker Hill Rd S to Riverside Dr S
- Riverside Dr S from River Rd S to Sidney Rd S
- West side of Sidney Rd S to Buena Vista Rd S
Level 2 evacuations in Polk County include:
- East of Corvallis Rd from the Independence Bridge to Davidson Rd
- North of Davidson Rd and Wigrich Rd east to the Willamette River
Marion County Sheriff’s Office said a Level 2 evacuation means “there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family and friends outside of the affected area, or if choosing to remain, to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
Earlier in the evening, MCSO issued orders via text for Level 2 “Get Ready” evacuations 4 miles from the fire and a Level 1 “Get Set” evacuation notice 4-6 miles from Vitae Springs Road.
Authorities say those under the evacuation orders can gather at Judson Middle School at 4512 Jones Rd SE in Salem; those with livestock who are under evacuation orders can contact officials for help.
The flames destroyed at least one home and continues to threaten others, officials said.
The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office said they ordered aerial resources to help fight the blaze. Aurora Fire District and Yamhill county are both also aiding in fire suppression efforts to assist MCFD No. 1, along with the Salem Fire Department.
Meanwhile, Oregon State Police has joined with local law enforcement to assist with evacuations.
One of those forced to evacuate, Kelli Webb, says she had a house fire in 2021.
“The police came up the driveway and said, ‘it’s coming.’ And with the winds and everything that happened last year … I guess now we’re under a mandatory evacuation. So, I’m just worried. I think everyone is,” Webb said.
For now, Webb says she’s just glad she had time to grab her dog and three cats as she makes plans to stay with a friend nearby.
Meanwhile at Judson Middle School, police continue to work with evacuated property owners who own livestock to help secure locations for their animals while their homes remain under evacuation.
Officials have been concerned about fire starts in various regions, as dry and windy conditions continue across the state.
This is a developing story.