VIDEO: Sprawled on a smoky street, a crew of Oregon firefighters belted out a song after a long day fighting fires.
Take me out to the fire.
Take me out to the line.
Bring me some sawyers and hazel hoes.
I don't care if I ever get home.
The Grizzly Firefighters from The Dalles, Oregon, had just wrapped a 14-hour day of battling the Lionshead Fire on Monday near the community of Detroit, said crew boss Theodore Hiner.
Even after a grueling day, Hiner said his crew still made him laugh, he wrote on Facebook.
They spent the day "cutting line," or building a perimeter of mineral soil to keep the fire from spreading, he said.
Yet they still had enough spirit to come up with a parody of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" using firefighting terms for lyrics. For those not in the know, a hazel hoe is used to trench and clear the area, while a sawyer is a person trained to down limbs and trees during wildfires.
State officials on Wednesday said more than 500 homes and other buildings have been destroyed by a wildfire that swept through rural communities along the McKenzie River east of Eugene and Springfield.
Crews have so far assessed 770 structures in the burn area of the Holiday Farm fire, which grew to over 170,000 acres. Its 260-mile perimeter, roughly the length of Portland to Medford, stretches into Lane and Linn counties. Firefighters have contained about 8 percent of the blaze, which began Sept. 6 along Oregon 126 near the town Blue River, nestled in the foothills of the Cascade mountains, officials said.
Thrashing winds rolling off the mountain range quickly spread the fire down the McKenzie River valley, a mecca for fishing, hiking and whitewater rafting. Thousands were forced to flee.
Portland Oregonian, Hillsboro Argus, Oregon Live.com
Millions of fish have been saved at fish hatcheries in Oregon despite unprecedented wildfires and evacuations, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said Wednesday.
Six ODFW-managed facilities were affected, including two locally – Rock Creek and Leaburg.
No lives were lost, and officials said staff are returning to some facilities to help spawn spring Chinook during a critical time in their life cycle.
Some critical infrastructure has been destroyed and some fish were lost, with Rock Creek Hatchery on the North Umpqua River sustaining the most severe damage.
All buildings at Rock Creek except for the Rock Ed Education Center were destroyed or severely damaged by the Archie Creek Fire. This includes employee housing as well. Staff access has been limited due to a number of hazards around the site such as downed trees and power lines.
KEZI-TV ABC 9 Eugene
As firefighters, search and rescue teams, and utility crews continue to pick through the rubble of destroyed neighborhoods in Phoenix in Talent, some residents are asking why they did not receive notice to evacuate before the Almeda Fire was already on their doorsteps.
John Vial usually heads Jackson County's Roads and Parks departments. At a press conference on Wednesday, Vial said that he'd been tapped as director of Jackson County Emergency Operations on Tuesday afternoon.
"This is a new role for me," Vial said.
Vial described the County's emergency notification system as one that may have been ill-equipped to handle the pace at which the Almeda Fire progressed, as it moved at "lightspeed" north from Ashland, and through multiple jurisdictions — but did not seem sure that there were better alternatives available.
Under Oregon law, only law enforcement officials have the authority to implement an evacuation, Vial said, but they depend on information from the field.
KDRV-TV ABC 12 Medford
A 22-year-old man faces federal arson and attempted arson charges, accusing him of igniting a fire in a dumpster that was pushed against a city-owned building housing the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct and other businesses during a demonstration against racial injustice and police brutality in late June.
Gavaughn Gaquez Streeter-Hillerich made his first appearance Wednesday before a magistrate judge in U.S. District Court in Portland after his arrest in Vancouver, Washington, on Tuesday. He was caught on video setting a fire inside a tire placed on top of an overturned dumpster that was pushed up against the wall of the building at Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, between Killingsworth and Emerson streets, at 2:16 a.m. on June 26, according to Cynthia M. Chang, a fire investigator with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Portland Oregonian, Hillsboro Argus, Oregon Live.com
The need for firefighters in Oregon goes beyond only those who fight fires year round.
We talked with a Douglas County company Wednesday about their employees turning into firefighters when they're needed - essentially becoming part-time heroes.When people think of firefighting, they think of red engines, sliding down poles, and water hoses.
But there's more to it than that, especially with wild fires.
It's not unusual for contractors to train their employees in firefighting.
Firefighters aren't the only ones on the front lines of the Archie Creek Fire.
Logging crews are right there with them.
"The guys have been working tirelessly out there," said Lone Rock Resources CEO Toby Luther. "In fact, I'm amazed everyday about how much work they're putting in and how positive they are and how much energy they put in every day to go out there and defend against the fires."
KPIC-TV CBS 4 Roseburg