A rural fire chief and several of her volunteer firefighters in Oregon lost their homes and station house to the Holiday Farm Fire as they battled the blaze over the last few days.
Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Chief Christiana Rainbow Plews is among thousands of first responders who have been combating the fires that have ravaged the West Coast for weeks. She got a call Monday night about a downed power line, and the resulting brush fire spread faster than anything she had ever seen. Within an hour or two of having left her home to respond, Plews said, she had issued a level 3 evacuation order — for residents to leave immediately — for the McKenzie River area in Lane County in western Oregon. Her family left their home about 20 miles downriver from the fire's origins, able to bring a few of the animals on their property.