Update: Sunday 11:30 a.m. — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office announced that an eviction order preventing people from leaving their homes in the Vita Springs area was lifted at noon on Sunday, September 11.
The fire remained overnight within existing containment lines and firefighters from several regional agencies continued to assist Salem Fire Department crews. “The fires are expected to continue to burn and produce smoke for an extended period of time,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.
“Fire officials will work directly with residents who live in properties that have fire activity,” the statement said.
The relief center operating at Goodson Middle School will be closed Sunday afternoon.
Authorities said those returning to the heart of the bushfires that broke out on Friday afternoon will remain on a level 2 alert status, meaning they will have to prepare to go off in a matter of moments.
These areas include:
• Vitay Springs Road between Southern Horizon Road and River Road
• West side of Skyline Road from Vitay Springs Road to South Cool Road
• South Orville Road
• Riversprings Road to Prospect Ridge
Detailed map of evacuation levels, including ongoing Level 1 for some areas of South Salem, available online over here.
Additional Salem firefighters are expected Sunday to help clear the Vita Springs fire as evacuation areas remain in place, according to a city statement.
No information was released about when people would return to their homes and were forced to evacuate on Friday.
The city said three firefighting crews of 20 people would move through the fire zone, defined on 124 acres, to extinguish the hot spots. The city said they would be joining local firefighters who, in some cases, worked for 48 hours.
According to the city’s statement, no buildings were destroyed and there were no injuries.
The National Weather Service has canceled a red flag warning for east winds, which forecast a high of 85 for Salem Sunday from 90 on Saturday. South winds 3 to 7 mph expected with 20% chance of rain overnight.
Helpers: Responding Agencies
Willamette Valley Communications Center
Salem fire brigade
Salem Police Department
Salem Public Works Department
Independence Police Department
Polk County Fire District
Polk County Sheriff
Marion County Department of Public Works
Marion County Department of Public Health
Marion Fire District 1
Marion County Sheriff
Search and Rescue in Marion County
Oregon State Fair
American Red Cross
Salem Kaiser Schools Department
Oregon Field Marshal
Animals: Volunteers to the Rescue
According to the Marion County Emergency Management Department, 12 dogs, seven cats, 10 rabbits and one lizard were helped at the school. At the fairgrounds, emergency shelter was provided for one horse, two ducks, two sheep, two alpacas and nine chickens.
In addition, the Acres of Hope youth farm in Istiklal has held about 30 horses, according to social media accounts.
MEANTIME: Separate fire
Fire officials reported that a fire destroyed two homes in West Salem early Saturday morning and damaged a third home.
The homes were at 1802 Best Rd. Northwest Highlands Northwest Road.
Tamara Bogmer lives across the street from the houses and said she was woken up by an unusual popping sound.
She said the two rented homes were occupied and that she informed the other neighbors before preparing to evict them. She said the two houses were sitting in a grove of trees.
“It was a miracle that the firefighters were able to get it out,” she said.
City officials did not give details of the fire.
Vitay Springs fire contained, disinfection underway, evacuations still in place
BREAK: A brush fire led to the evacuation of South Salem as fire crews surrounded
Communication Editor Liz Zeitz: [email protected]
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