Dog order

UPDATE: Evacuation order lifted, residents can return to South Salem homes as fire smolders

UPDATE: Sunday 11:30 a.m. – The Marion County Sheriff’s Office announced that the evacuation order preventing people from returning to their homes in the Vitae Springs area was lifted at noon on Sunday, September 11.

“Overnight, the fire remained within existing containment lines and fire crews from many regional agencies continue to assist Salem Fire Department crews. The fire is expected to continue to smolder and produce smoke for an extended period of time,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

“Firefighters will work directly with residents living in properties where the fire is active,” the statement said.

The rescue center operated at Judson Middle School will close Sunday afternoon.

Authorities said those returning to the heart of the blaze that erupted on Friday afternoon will remain on Level 2 alert, meaning they will need to be ready to leave in a moment.

These areas include:

• Vitae Springs Road between South Skyline Road and River Road

• West side of Skyline Road, from Vitae Springs Road to South Cole Road

• South Orville Road

• Riversprings Road to Prospect Ridge

A detailed map of evacuation levels, including a continuous Level 1 for some areas of South Salem, is available online HERE.


Additional firefighters were expected in Salem on Sunday to help mop up the Vitae Springs Fire as evacuation zones remain in place, according to a city statement.

No information has been released on when people will be able to return to their homes they had to evacuate on Friday.

The city said three 20-person private fire crews would move through the fire area, mapped to 124 acres, to extinguish hot spots. They would join local firefighters who, in some cases, had worked 48 hours, the city said.

No structures were destroyed and there were no injuries, according to the city’s statement.

The red flag warning for easterly winds was dropped by the National Weather Service, which predicted a high of 85 for Salem on Sunday from a high of 90 on Saturday. Southerly winds of 3 to 7 mph were expected with a 20% chance of showers overnight.

HELPERS: Agencies respond

Willamette Valley Communications Center

Salem Fire Department

Salem Police Department

Salem Department of Public Works

Independence Police

Dallas fire

Polk County Fire District

Polk County Sheriff

Marion County Public Works Department

Marion County Public Health Department

Marion County Fire District 1

Marion County Sheriff

Yamhill fire

Jefferson Fire

Fire Keiser

turner fire

Dayton fire

Falk Ambulance

Dallas Police

Marion County Search and Rescue

Oregon State Fair

American Red Cross

Salem-Keizer School District

Oregon State Fire Commissioner

Oregon State Veterinarian

ANIMALS: Volunteers to the rescue

According to Marion County Emergency Management, 12 dogs, seven cats, 10 rabbits and one lizard were helped at the school. At the fairgrounds, emergency shelter was provided for one horse, two ducks, two sheep, two alpacas and nine chickens.

Additionally, the Acres of Hope Youth Ranch in Independence has housed about 30 horses, according to social media accounts.

MEANWHILE: a separate fire

A fire destroyed two homes in west Salem early Saturday and damaged a third, fire officials said.

The homes were at 1802 Best Rd. NW, south of Northwest Orchard Heights Road.

Tamara Pugmire lives opposite the houses and said she was woken up by an unusual noise.

She said both rental homes were occupied and she alerted other neighbors before planning her own evacuation. Both houses are located in a grove of trees, she said.

“It was a miracle that the firefighters got him out,” she said.

No details about the fire were provided by city officials.

Authorities released this map on Friday evening showing Level 3 mandatory evacuation zones in red and Level 2 evacuation alerts to ensure people are ready to leave at all times.


Vitae Springs fire contained, cleanup underway, drains remain in place

BREAK: Bushfire forcing evacuations in South Salem as crews surround the blaze

Contact the publisher Les Zaitz: [email protected]

SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM – We report to the Salem community with care and depth, fairness and accuracy. We depend almost entirely on subscribers to cover our costs. Receive local news that matters to you. Subscribe to Salem Reporter. Click here: I want to register!