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Sep 7 2020 thru Sep 13 2020

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WILDFIRES September 12
State fire marshal resigns hours after being put on leave, but officials are mum on why
Jim Walker, the Oregon state fire marshal, resigned Saturday. His office is a unit of the Oregon State Police and Superintendent Travis Hampton Friday night put him on leave for reasons not publicly disclosed. The deputy state fire marshal, Mariana Ruiz-Temple, has been appointed to succeed Walker
FreeWILDFIRES September 12
FIRE UPDATE: More victims found in Santiam Canyon; evacuation level reduced for some communities Saturday
Marion County Sheriff Joe Kast reported Friday evening that two more victims had been found in the Beachie Creek Fire. Search-and-rescue operations in the Santiam Canyon were continuing.
FreePHOTO GALLERY September 11
PHOTOS: East of Salem, waiting and deciding whether to go or stay as wildfires move
As wildfires burned down out of the Cascades, officials put one community after another on alert. In Silverton and Scotts Mills, it was watch, wait – and protect.
FreeSALEM COMMUNITY September 11
Fire updates: 'We think we’ve turned the corner' on Beachie Creek Fire; FBI discounts arson rumors
At a fire briefing Friday morning, incident commanders said milder weather is allowing them to attack the Beachie Creek Fire directly. Previously, the focus has been on rescuing people.
SALEM ECONOMY September 11
Salem nonprofits, hit by pandemic, adjust services and budgets to get by
The local groups that focus on providing help to the community have needed help themselves to keep operations going. Income is down as fundraising events get scrubbed and other sources dwindle. Being flexible is a key to keep going, interviews show.
FreeLOCAL SCHOOLS September 10
Salem-Keizer delays start of school to Sept. 17 in response to wildfires
Nearly all school districts in Marion County have canceled planned classes or pushed the start of school back after wildfires have forced thousands of local families to evacuate. Though Salem is safe from the fires, about 400 district employees live in areas currently being evacuated.
FreeWILDFIRES September 10
Molalla evacuating as two huge wildfires burn towards each other
Authorities ordered the evacuation Thursday of Molalla, a rural community on the east side of the Willamette Valley, as two large wildfires continued to spread. State officials said Oregon is short about 3,000 firefighters to confront blazes that have chewed through 900,000 acres. The state estimates a half million people have had to evacuate.
FreeWILDFIRES September 10
PHOTOS: Damage from the Beachie Creek Fire shows burned homes, iconic restaurant still standing
The communities of Detroit and Gates were hit hardest by the wildfire with families coming home to assess the damage for the first time Wednesday, 36 hours after the fire ripped through the canyon and led people to flee.
FreeSALEM COMMUNITY September 10
Salem volunteers needed for air quality shelter, shower trailer for evacuees
The ARCHES Project needs volunteers overnight to help shelter people affected by hazardous air. United Way is still collecting donations for evacuees, but no longer needs water or clothing.
FreeWILDFIRES September 10
Charred homes awaited some who returned to assess the damage from Santiam Canyon wildfire
Hundreds of evacuees drove into the canyon on Wednesday to see if their homes were still standing. The fire hit communities in a patchwork, with some families feeling relieved while others saw their homes completely destroyed.
FreeWildfires September 9
Two deaths related to Santiam Fire confirmed by sheriff
Enchanted Forest posted to its Facebook page that the body of Wyatt Tofte, the great great-grandson of found Roger Tofte, had been found earlier. The post also said that his grandmother Peggy Mosso “was also taken.” More grim news is expected as crews continue responding to the growing blaze.
FreeWILDFIRES September 9
Extraordinary video shows devastation in the community of Detroit
Sandi Elwood, a Salem Realtor, recorded videos showing the destruction in the mountain community of Detroit. She chronicled the burning of several businesses and many homes.
WILDFIRES September 9
Oregon facing historic loss of life from wildfires, Gov. Kate Brown says
Wildfires to continue to burn out of control across Oregon on Wednesday, and state authorities said there will be significant losses of life and property. Gov. Kate Brown urged people to obey evacuation orders and her advisers asked callers stop clogging 911 lines with calls about smoke. Video by Salem Reporter shows damage in Gates.
FreeSALEM COMMUNITY September 9
Marion County opens sign-ups for volunteers to help wildfire evacuees, plus more ways to help
Updated story: Agencies helping Santiam Canyon wildfire evacuees are asking helpers not to show up at the fairgrounds unannounced. Donations can be brought to the United Way office in Salem, and sign ups are open for volunteer shifts starting Sept. 10.
FreeWILDFIRE EVACUATIONS September 9
PHOTOS: Goats, rabbits and horses fleeing fire find shelter at Oregon State Fairgrounds
The state fair was canceled this year, but livestock barns and horse stalls at the Oregon State Fairgrounds got some use after all. Volunteers remain at the fairgrounds helping care for displaced animals.
FreeWILDFIRES September 9
PHOTOS: Aumsville residents prepare for evacuation as Santiam Canyon wildfires continue burning
Aumsville residents packed up their trucks and cars, rounded up animals and prepared for the worst on Tuesday as the Santiam Fire continued its spread.
FreeWILDFIRES September 9
UPDATE: Winds forecast to shift to the south on Wednesday, no new evacuations reported overnight
Here is the latest summary of developments related to the wildfires burning in the Cascades east of Salem.
FreeWILDFIRE EVACUATIONS September 8
Fleeing by the thousands, Santiam Canyon families seek refuge in Salem
Livestock stalls at the Oregon State Fairgrounds were nearing capacity Tuesday evening as families continued unloading horse trailers. Many evacuees described harrowing drives in the middle of the night as fires burned on nearby hills.
FreeWILDFIRES September 8
VIDEO: Wildfire lines the streets of Mill City
A Marion County Sheriff's deputy captured a video of Mill City burning Tuesday.
FreeWILDFIRES September 8
'These fires will continue to be on the rampage' - Dry conditions coupled with an unexpectedly strong wind scorch Santiam Canyon overnight
The Santiam Fire covered 130,000 acres in a matter of hours, sending 5,000 people seeking shelter in Salem. Gov. Kate Brown called it an “unprecedented and significant fire event.” While weather conditions may shift in the coming days, the extent of the damage remains unclear.
FreeWILDFIRES September 8
The latest on the Santiam Canyon wildfires: Who’s evacuating, where to get help
Here’s how to find the latest status on evacuations, what you should do to prepare to leave, and other useful information during this crisis.
FreeWILDFIRES September 8
PHOTOS: Smoke blankets the Salem area, casting an apocalyptic glow
Fires up Santiam Canyon and around Oregon made for dark skies in the Salem area Tuesday. By Tuesday evening., air quality in Salem was considered hazardous.
FreeOREGON WILDFIRES September 8
Help your news team at Salem Reporter cover this fire catastrophe
With circumstances changing by the moment, Salem Reporter welcomes help from readers to accurately report on wildfires threatening more homes and communities.
FreeWILDFIRES September 8
Fleeing wildfires, families wait for news at Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem
By 8 a.m., over 100 families had gathered at the Oregon State Fairgrounds after evacuation orders forced them from their homes up Santiam Canyon. Red Cross volunteers were gathering information about shelter needs.
FreeSALEM COMMUNITY September 8
Marion County declares state of emergency due to spreading wildfires
The declaration allows the county to request additional resources from the state to respond to wildfires spreading in the Santiam Canyon Tuesday morning.
PUBLIC SAFETY September 8
VIDEO: Pro-Trump Labor Day protest turned violent at the Capitol
Two men were arrested Monday after chasing down a counter protester, shoving them to the ground and punching them at the Capitol.
SALEM BUSINESS September 8
BUSINESS ROUNDUP: A second look at workers' comp, Electric Alley and agricultural grants
A state committee could make the workers' compensation system a little friendlier to workers who get Covid on the job. The Electric Alley project seeks to brighten up downtown Salem. Have a bright idea for plant nursery research?
FreeBREAKING NEWS September 8
Spreading wildfire prompts evacuation of Santiam Canyon communities
A fast-spreading wildfire burned down into the Santiam Canyon Monday, driven by high winds. All communities from Mehama to Detroit were put under immediate evacuation directives from the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
AROUND OREGON September 7
AROUND OREGON: Parents of deceased inmate claim wrongful death in lawsuit against Oregon agency
Inmate Wynn Puckey died in March while incarcerated at Snake River Correctional Institution. His parents are now suing the state Department of Corrections, claiming his death could – and should – have been prevented.
SALEM COMMUNITY September 7
Salem extends helping hand to an overlooked community disproportionately affected by the pandemic
Marion County’s Pacific Islanders have seen an outsized impact from Covid. While there are barriers to reaching this demographic, community organizations are stepping up to help.
OREGON SCHOOLS September 7
With the future of school uncertain, more Oregon families opt for online charters
Knowing school will be all or mostly online for months, a growing number of Oregon families opted to enroll in online charter schools this fall. Salem-Keizer said it hasn't seen an enrollment impact yet, but some smaller districts are denying transfers to online charter schools, prompting a record number of appeals with the state.

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