On Wednesday we would be officially evacuated. But we didn’t wait. On Tuesday night the ground was covered in burnt fir needles. Overhead flaming debris was floating like rain from a fireworks display. We decided to bug out now before we found ourselves caught in a jump fire. We had our ready to evacuate stuff ready, but we had no way to prepare for this level so quickly. We had to leave our cows, horse and goat and chickens at home.

We went to Beth’s late at night, in the dark. The early pictures of the burning sky fixed in our mines. The smoke was heavy. Highland still had power. When we got to Beth’s we settled in and started looking for news. On Wednesday Molalla was evacuated, and the Canby fair grounds where farm animals were placed was evacuated again. Too. Turns out there were even more fires than we knew. Fires on the coast, to the south at Detroit. Even at home there was the Unger Road fire, the Mulino fire and the Beachie fire and others, many others. Like me we were surprised that everything could burn so quickly. And the wind, the wind was, for us, unprecedented. It was like the California winds. Western Oregon doesn’t have wind like this, our Mountains protect us from the southern winds. But not anymore.

In Wednesday morning the wind was worse. The fire fighters were pulled from the fire because it was moving too fast. The smoke was too thick for air drops and the wind to fierce for take off. By the evening a jump fire was spreading near Estacada. It was moving toward us at an alarming rate down the Springwater drainage. On Thursday morning it jumped Shibley road. Miraculously by noon the wind calmed down, and even more of a miracle it changed direction! Our coastal winds came in, cool and cloudy bringing rain. Not much moisture but the wind change saved us. The fire stopping just a third of a mile from our home. We have zig zag boys, a fire fighting crew, to thank for saving dozens of homes and barns too in the path of the fire but hundreds were still taken. See the pictures in the media section for a clear view.

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