An aerial view of a grass fire burning near the 4100 block of Vitae Springs Road South near Salem on Monday, Sept. 13. (Courtesy/Reader photo)

UPDATE: Evacuations as of 6 p.m. were reduced to a Level 2 status, meaning residents must prepare to leave at a moment’s notice.

A grass fire is contained after burning Monday afternoon near the 4100 block of Vitae Springs Road South near Salem on Monday, Sept. 13.

The fire, which spread from a vehicle fire southwest of Salem, was first reported at 12:45 p.m. and contained around 4 p.m., said Greg Walsh, the city of Salem emergency preparedness manager.

The fire prompted 35 home evacuations in the 4000 – 4300 block of Vitae Springs Road. A temporary evacuation center was set up at Crossler Middle School at 1155 Davis Rd. S., the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.

Evacuation orders remained in effect at 5 p.m. Monday. Road closures remained in effect for Orville Road South east of River Road South and Vitae Springs Road South.

Fire crews remained at the scene around 5 p.m. checking for any hot spots, doing cleanups and conducting an investigation, Walsh said.

A woman was driving her car when it started having issues and smoke was entering her car, he said. After she pulled over, the fire spread to nearby grass.

Jayme Perry said she drove by the vehicle fire on the road shortly after it was reported Monday afternoon on Vitae Springs Road.

"I saw the white car crunched into the pole and it was almost completely engulfed in fire. There was also fire next to it to the south in the dry grass and brush, and the smaller trees at that point," Perry said in an email. "Right away I was concerned about the size of the fire when I drove by."

John Wulf saw a lot of smoke Monday afternoon as a grass fire started burning on Vitae Springs Road.

He lives less than a mile away and decided to pull his drone out to get a visual of how bad the fire was and how much danger he was in.

“Whoa, that’s a pretty big fire,” he thought.

“My reaction was more concern with how much worse it could get,” he said.

He said he flew his drone out again to see if the fire had gotten worse, but it looked like it had been contained.

When the Marion County Sheriff’s Office sent out an evacuation notice for the area, he said there were a ton of friends and family calling and texting him.

He’s not part of the evacuation area but “it makes it more real when everyone’s reaching out.”

Walsh said about 28 emergency vehicles responded to the fire, with firefighters from Marion and Polk county agencies responding. He said he had not received any reports of houses being burned.

Vitae Springs Road South was closed at Skyline Road South Monday, Sept. 13 as a grass fire forced the evacuation of about 35 homes in the area. (Ardeshir Tabrizian/Salem Reporter)

An aerial view of a grass fire burning near the 4100 block of Vitae Springs Road South near Salem on Monday, Sept. 13. (Courtesy/Reader photo)

An aerial view of a grass fire burning near the 4100 block of Vitae Springs Road South near Salem on Monday, Sept. 13. (Courtesy/reader photo)

Saphara Harrell contributed reporting.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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