Homeowner Finds Barn Gone, Animals Still Alive

Monday's windy forecast brings no relief out West in wildfire fight
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2020 6:21 AM CDT
As Fire Chief Battles Fire, Her Own Home Burns
The Oak Park Motel was destroyed by the flames of the Beachie Creek Fire east of Salem, Ore., Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020.   (Rob Schumacher/Statesman-Journal via AP, Pool)

A story out of rural Oregon provides a glimpse at the scope of the wildfire fight: NBC News reports that Upper McKenzie fire chief Rainbow Plews and several members of her volunteer crew lost their homes as they battled a blaze about 20 miles away. “I threw up. I was sobbing. I was looking at nothing,” the 50-year-old Plews tells the Oregonian. "It was the same devastation I had seen all the way down the river, except that was mine." Then the questions: "Where do I go from here? What’s next? And, how do I do that when I’m also trying to put a community back together?” Luckily, her husband and two sons were able to evacuate in time and find refuge in a hotel. More:

  • Surprise good news: In Mehama, Ore., Patti Candell was able to get home a week after her family fled a wildfire and discovered that her home survived but her barn did not, reports CNN. However, her horses, cows, and sheep somehow survived, too. "The flames actually came up to the house on this side of the home and on the back and how it didn't catch on fire is just amazing to us," she says. "It just, I don't know how the fire works, how the wind is."
  • Monday's winds: While the fires in California, Oregon, and Washington state have gotten the most attention, fires are actually burning in 12 Western states, reports USA Today. So far, 35 people have died in fires over the last month: 24 in California, 10 in Oregon, and one in Washington state. Meanwhile, Monday's forecast calls for strong winds that could make things worse. "Red-flag warnings" were in effect from southern Oregon to northern California through Monday evening.
(More wildfires stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.