‘Just foundation and dust’: Marion County residents lose all

Wildfires

Level 3 "Go Now" evacuations remain in place

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Beachie Creek Fire and the Lionshead Fire in Marion County have now consumed about 323,000 acres, with almost no containment as of Saturday morning.

Clockwise, left to right: The Riverside Fire, the White River Fire, the P-515 Fire, the Lionshead Fire and the Beachie Creek Fire in a map from Inciweb, 9:45 p.m., September 11, 2020

The Beachie Creek Fire

The Beachie Creek Fire is now nearly 187,000 acres and remains uncontained about 6 miles north of Detroit in Marion County.

The fire has already claimed the lives of at least 4 people with 10 people still missing.

In a Friday evening update, Sheriff Joe Kast said, of the 27 people who were reported as missing since the beginning of the fire, 13 have been found and are safe.

To report a family member missing, please contact the non-emergency dispatch at 503.588.5032. As of Saturday evening, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said they have 5 people who have been reported as missing.

The Beachie Creek Fire began before the the wind storm roared through on Labor Day. Officials said the fire was around 469 acres but the high winds rapidly spread the flames to 131,000 acres. Another 56,000 acres of land has been consumed since then.

This wildfire, which was momentarily switched to be called the Santiam Fire, has completely decimated much of the Santiam Canyon.

Lionshead Fire

The blaze has nearly joined with the Lionshead Fire at the east end of Detroit Lake — which is currently reported at over 138,000 acres. Lightning began that fire which has spread to and beyond the Willamette National Forest.

A virtual public meeting about the Lionshead Fire will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on Facebook, fire officials said.

Crews will continue to work the control lines to the Lionshead Fire, which is now 5% contained. “Completing the northern section of containment line and tying it in with the eastern flank will create a catcher’s mitt, that is meant to stop the main body of the fire as it burns into the hardened containment lines,” officials said.

Marion County remains in a State of Emergency as wildfires continue to roar throughout the county.

Marion County evacuations and resources
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‘There’s nothing left’

Ken Perkins of Lyons said he lost everything when the Beachie Creek fire roared through Marion County, September 12, 2020 (KOIN)

Ken Perkins was one of hundreds of people who waited anxiously at a checkpoint at the Lyons city limits to see what was left of his house.

When the winds whipped through the area on Labor Day, the ensuing fires destroyed his home by the next morning.

“Basically, it’s just foundation and a pile of dust. There’s nothing left of it. It’s completely gone,” Perkins told KOIN 6 News.

His wife Nancy said they wanted to go back “to see what’s left.”

Though the future is unclear for the town and townspeople, Perkins said the best thing to do is stick together.

“This community will take care of the community. They will. That’s what we do,” he said. “They take care of each other.”

Evacuations

The evacuation zones in Marion County, 6:30 p.m., Saturday, September 12, 2020 (Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

Marion County Level 3 evacuations remain in place for Detroit,Idahna, Breitenbush, Lyons, Mehama, Mill City, Gates, North Fork Rd recreation area, Scotts Mills, both sides of 214 north of Silver Falls State Park to Drakes Crossing. This includes Grade Road and Bridgecreek.

Level 2 evacuations are issued for areas east of Meridian Rd, Davis Creek and Victor Point.

These areas are now downgraded to Level 1 evacuations: Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Silverton, Mt. Angel, Meridian Rd South to Cascade Hwy, West of Davis Creek, West of Victor Point south to the County line

Officials say 13,764 structures are at Level 3 evacuations and another 18,528 homes are under in Level 2 evacuations. 

LIST: Temporary shelters as wildfires rip through Oregon 

Fires and evacuations: Here’s what you need to know 

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