Image source: Oregon Live
In recent days, crews across Oregon have been responding to the fires, and many have been prepared thanks to the red flag warning.
Officials say their part of their preparation stems from funding lawmakers to step up firefighting.
A fire broke out in Vitae Springs south of Salem last Friday.
Salem Deputy Fire Chief Brian Carrara said his department was on high alert Friday due to high winds and the red flag warning.
Officials said crews arrived within 10 minutes of the fire call to see 50ft flames.
A red flag warning and strong gusts of wind caused the fire to escalate immediately into a four-alarm fire.
“Over 30 pieces of apparatus were on the scene within two hours,” said Carrara.
Squads from surrounding neighborhoods who had previously signed mutual aid agreements rushed to the rescue.
They were part of three task forces in the region.
All three were manned and ready to assist them due to the strong winds expected last weekend.
The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office said it could also send helicopters to slow fire from the air.
Brian Carrara said the resources helped manage the situation or it would get worse.
“It was moving pretty fast,” Carrara said.
Carrara said the fire made it difficult for ground teams to pass.
However, air resources were made available thanks to the $ 200 million allocated by lawmakers in 2021.
They promised money to increase the resources needed to fight the fire, a decision that ultimately paid off.
Ratepayers in Salem’s South Ward hailed the decision, saying it was money well spent.
“We are very, very thankful that our homes are fine, and that they got this fire put out, and that no structures were damaged,” said Laura, a local resident.
Two dozen crews responded to a fast-moving fire on Vitae Springs Road South on Friday evening.
The road was closed south of Salem and firefighters evacuated homes and businesses within a three-mile radius.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has ordered a level 3 evacuation to Orville Rd S, Riversprings Rd through Prospect Ridge, Vitae Springs Rd between Skyline and River Rd, and the west side of Skyline Rd from Vitae Springs Rd.
The Sheriff’s Office also ordered a Level 2 evacuation for several areas in Marion County and Polk County.
People were evacuated to Judson Middle School, while those with the cattle were asked to contact officers to make arrangements to keep the cattle in a safe place.
The fire broke out on private property and the causes of the fire are still being investigated.
Officials said the fire burned 167 acres but was completely contained.
Evacuations were limited on Sunday, with more than 119 homes in a level 3 evacuation zone.