The latest on the Santiam Canyon wildfires: Who’s evacuating, where to get help

Evacuees walk back to their vehicles at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Sept. 8 (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Current evacuation information

No part of Salem is under an evacuation order, and city officials said city water remains safe to drink.

Current Marion County evacuation orders as of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday are:

 “Go” (Level 3)





Hwy. 214 north of Silver Falls State Park to Scotts Mills

“Be Set” (Level 2)





Mt. Angel

Hwy. 213 west Mt. Angel to Drakes Crossing

As of Tuesday morning, Polk County Fire District No. 1 said none of the surrounding fires in the coastal mountains are threatening the community. The fire district is based in Independence.

Where to find evacuation information

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Marion County 911 center have the most current information. Salem Reporter and other local news outlets will report on new evacuation orders as they’re issued.

Marion County 911 updates: Twitter and Facebook pages.

Marion County Sheriff’s Office updates: Twitter, Facebook and website.

Evacuation location

People evacuating can head to the Oregon State Fairgrounds where the Red Cross has set up an evacuation point for people to get connected with resources. The fairgrounds on 2330 17th St N.E. are also taking in livestock for those who drive up to the south entrance.

The Polk County Fairgrounds on 520 S. Pacific Hwy W in Rickreall are also taking livestock in but ask that people call 503-623-3048 to say what kind of animals they’re bringing.

Missing relatives

People looking for missing relatives should call Marion County’s non-emergency line at 503-588-5032 where they’re keeping a list, said Marion County spokeswoman Jolene Kelley.

Burned areas and damage

There’s currently no way for people who have evacuated to check whether their property was burned, Marion County Sheriff’s Office Sr. Deputy Ethan Griffith said.

“Right now with the fire and some of the debris and obstructions, we can’t even get in through some of the roadways to even look at the damage,” he said.

Griffith said he expected it would be at least several days before anyone would be able to return to areas currently under evacuation.

Videos and photos posted on personal Facebook pages do show homes and businesses burning at spots along the Santiam Canyon.

How to prepare for evacuation

The U.S. Forest Service checklist online includes tips on what to have packed and prepared should you need to leave your home. The full list is online. The basic preparation:

Have at least a half tank of gas in your car

•Flashlight, portable radio

•Round up your pets and have their food, leashes, carriers and other items ready to be loaded in the car

•Have important files, policies, computers and expensive items ready to go 

•Keep a suitcase with clothes, toiletries and camping items packed

•Close all doors and windows before leaving and store propane tanks away from the house

Salem water quality

Salem city officials said there hasn’t been any impact on Salem’s drinking water because of the wildfires. Online the city has listed the water supplied by the North Santiam River as “safe to drink.” If that changes, the city will send out an emergency alert. People can sign up for the alerts online.