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BLUE RIVER, Ore. – After surveying more structures, fire officials now say 723 structures have been lost due to the Holiday Farm Fire.
So far, 1,163 have been assessed in the fire area, from commercial buildings to homes to outbuildings. Of those, 714 are destroyed, nine could collapse at any moment, 33 are damaged and 407 suffered no damage.
The Urban Search and Rescue team has been moving through the area, headed west through Vida into the Goodpasture Road area. So far, one person has been confirmed dead, and three people remain missing. More than 200 people reported missing have been found.
Crews have temporarily suspended activity on the fire as a safety precaution due to a storm that is expected to move in Thursday night. Lightning, wind and hail are all possible. The storm could lead additional trees and rocks to fall into the roadway.
Utility companies and non-essential people will not be able to enter the Level 3 evacuation area or any area inside the fire footprint while the suspension lasts. Residents are also asked to avoid the roads affected by the fire. At this time, the suspension is expected to be lifted at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Lane County fire crews will be working their last shifts, and out-of-state resources will arrive to take their place. This will allow crews to return to their homes. They will remain heavily involved in the effort and can be called back in if there is a need.
The fire is estimated to be 170,637 acres and 10% contained. A total of 812 people are working to fight the fire.
Officials emphasized that the name refers to a business in the area that provided a useful landmark for incoming fire crews. The business had nothing to do with the cause of the fire.
If you are a resident who had to evacuate due to the fire and would like to receive information about your home, you can call 541-682-3977 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. More information will be provided as the assessment continues.
For those who would like to learn the status of their home in person, a Multi-Agency Resource Center will be available on Friday from noon to 7 p.m. at the Lane Events Center, 796 West 13th Ave., in Eugene. The center will have representatives from the following:
- Utility companies
- Lane County Elections
- Insurance companies
- Housing support agencies
- Senior and Disabled Services
- Environmental Health
- Lane County Assessment and Taxation
- Waste and debris disposal coordinators
- Permit and land management staff
- Faith-based services and support
- Mental health and medical support
This Resource Center will not be a donation drop-off or pick-up location and is only open to those whose homes and properties are in the fire area. For more information about the current donation and volunteer site, click here.
Below is additional support for those who have been affected by the fire:
- Emotional Support Line: 1-800-923-HELP (4357)
- Disaster Stress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. This line is available in 100 languages, 24 hours a day 7 days a week
- In-person crisis support with Lane County Behavioral Health: The Graduate Hotel, 66 E. 6th Ave. Eugene, Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.
The fire perimeter stretches more than 260 miles, roughly the distance from Portland to Medford.
The current suppression strategy involves roads, ridges and hand line to control the fire's spread. Crews are making steady progress along the perimeter. Existing roads are being widened, dozer lines are being built and trees are being removed. Burnout operations are removing fuels between the main fire and the control lines.
Structural firefighters continue to put out hot spots around homes. The current focus is from Vida to Rainbow. Protection efforts remain in the Deerhorn Road and Goodpasture Road areas.
The Leaburg Dam has been powered and refilled and is now available as a strategic dip site for heavy helicopters.
In earlier days, fire officials discussed containment levels.
"Our fire officers have to be confident that if fire pushes on that line it's not going to go over it," said information officer Damon Simmons. "Barring a wind event or something, that line is going to hold if it is tested by fire. That's when they are going to declare it contained."
Earlier burnout operations were successful in the southwestern corner of the fire to establish a solid control line.
"As you know, fires on the landscape are a natural process. Low-intensity fires are good for the landscape. These high intensity really harsh burns that we get with the high winds are really hard on the landscape and kill a lot of trees," said Simmons.
The White House has approved an emergency declaration for the state. The declaration will provide assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Oregon and includes temporary housing for displaced evacuees. There will also be an opportunity for additional fire resources.
Below are the current evacuation levels:
- LEVEL 3: East of Holden Creek Road at milepost 19 along Highway 126 to milepost 47, including all roads to the north and south of the highway (East and West King Road, Caddis Lane, Mill Creek north of the highway and McKenzie River Drive west of the Community Center.)
- LEVEL 2: Residents on East King Road, Drury Drive and Delta Drive. Belknap Bridge still closed, and traffic must use Horse Creek Road.
- LEVEL 2: McKenzie River Drive east of the Community Center.
- LEVEL 2: Highway 126 east of Harbick's Inn at milepost 47.
- LEVEL 2: Residents from the McKenzie Bridge Campground to the junction of Highway 126 and Highway 20.
- LEVEL 2: All residents in the Mohawk Valley, including those east of the Mohawk River, except for areas where residents are already in Level 1.
- LEVEL 2: Residents along Highway 126 east of Camp Creek Road to the east side of Holden Creek Road just past milepost 19 and along Deerhorn Road.
- LEVEL 1: Mohawk Valley west of Marcola Road south of the intersection with Hill Road.
- LEVEL 1: Fall Creek, Winberry, and Lowell areas north from Hills Creek to Signal Point Boat Ramp.
- LEVEL 1: All residents south of Main Street and east of Bob Straub Parkway.