A carved eagle stands guard over remnants of a business along Oregon Highway 22 in Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

GATES - As wildfires exploded into fast-moving furies on Labor Day, high winds dropped power lines in Gates and triggered a string of fires. Among those who had to flee in the face of the growing inferno were firefighters who had been using Gates as a base camp for their operations.

Authorities in recent days dropped closure orders for the Gates area, allowing for the first inspection of the damage since heavy smoke lifted over the area. Mill City is also accessible but the upper reaches of the Santiam Canyon and North Fork Road remain off limits as crews work to remove hazardous trees and work on spot fires still burning within the footprint of the 190,000-acre Beachie Creek Fire.

Heavy equipment moves through a roadblock on Saturday, Sept. 19, on Oregon Highway 22 at the east end of Gates. Authorities say it could be weeks before the highway is completely open to public travel. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Belinda Evans surveys the ashes of her Oak Park Motel in Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19 (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Belinda Evans surveys the remains of her Oak Park Motel in Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Fire continues to smolder in the Santiam Canyon on Saturday, Sept. 19, despite a heavy rainstorm days earlier. The Beachie Creek Fire, which covered more than 190,000 acres, is expected to burn until heavy winter rains arrive. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

American Red Cross relief workers drive past a burned home in Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19. The workers are providing cleaning kits to help homeowners restore houses that are still standing but smoke damaged. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

The intensity of the wildfires that struck the Santiam Canyon on Sept. 7 is evident in this scene along the North Santiam River near Gates. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A makeshift sign of gratitude stands on burned ground near Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19, yards from a home that survived the Beachie Creek Fire. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Heat blistered this stop sign in Gates. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Bricks, twisted metal and a chain link fence are all that remain of a home overlooking the North Santiam River near Gates (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Smoke curls from fire still burning within view of the North Santiam River. The north side of the river was badly damaged by wildfires but large areas of the south side largely escaped. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

What's left of a Porsche Boxster sits on the ground in Gates, destroyed by fire that swept through the town Sept. 7. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A destroyed building and car in Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Bricks, twisted metal and a chain link fence are all that remain of a home overlooking the North Santiam River near Gates (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Scorched wall sections are all that remains of the Oak Park Motel in Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A member of the Oregon National Guard directs traffic at a roadblock on Oregon Highway 22 at Mehama on Saturday, Sept. 19. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A white picket fence stands in front of the remains of a home in the Santiam Canyon near Gates. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

The interior of a car abandoned in Gates was burned down to metal. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A singed bear stands sentinel outside a destroyed business along Oregon Highway 22 in Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

The Beachie Creek Fire burned in a mosaic across the forest of the Canyon Santiam, revealed on Saturday, Sept. 19, after smoke cleared. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A fire hydrant stands undamaged beside a destroyed building near Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A blackened swing set frames the destruction in Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Smoke rises from a stump along the North Santiam River near Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19. Fire officials warn that subsurface fires will continue to burn through root systems, generating temperatures exceeding 1,000 degrees. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A deer sculpture, intact despite the intensity of wildfire, stands before a vinyl fence warped by heat and the remnants of a home in Gates. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A fierce-looking eagle defied the wildfire that hit Gates on Sept. 7 and stands post outside a destroyed business in Gates. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Metal cabinets are about all that remains of a Gates home that once stood above the North Santiam River. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A motorcycle was reduced to ruins by fire in Gates on Sept. 7. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Police and the Oregon National Guard staff a roadblock on Oregon Highway 22 at the east end of Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

The intense heat of the fire on Sept. 7 is evident in the melted glass in a window of what was once the Oak Park Motel in Gates. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A concrete garden sculpture is about the only recognizable object near the office of what was the Oak Park Motel in Gates. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Road signs near Gates on Saturday, Sept. 19, warn motorists of potential hazards even though the wildfires have subsided. State officials say it could be weeks before Oregon HIghway 22 is completely open to public travel. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

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