Tag: Fire

Sweet Lorane Community News, July 25, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
July 25, 2019
By Pat Edwards

In early August, 2015, we were in the news… and not in a good way. A fire had broken out along Territorial Road south of Lorane and caught the hillside between the Mitchell and Matchulat properties on fire. The blaze consumed over 180 acres and was finally contained after coming within 75 feet of the Matchulat home.

The containment took the efforts of many from around Lane County, but my column that week, focused on the local heroes who were there to deal with it.

I’d like to share some of that with you today following the news this past week of another similar fire that broke out near Fire Road and was determined to be caused by human negligence. Fortunately, it was contained within a few hours, but again, our community members were ready to evacuate livestock if needed and do whatever it took to keep us safe.

August 14, 2015

“…The fire has been determined to be human-caused and started along the roadway on South Territorial Road just north of the Matchulat home. It quickly spread through dry grass and into a group of trees near the home and began racing up the hill next to the house. Lorane resident, Cherie Lutman, called 911 and then made a call to lifetime Lorane resident, Gary Thompson since she couldn’t rouse the Matchulats. Gary and his wife Lil rushed to the blaze and immediately saw that it was heading towards the Matchulat’s house. Gary turned on hoses and climbed to the roof of the house. He and Lil sprayed down everything as they watched the fire get closer and closer. The Lorane Fire Department volunteers and air support were soon there and they began the work of keeping the fire at bay. With the help of others who had arrived, they went inside and collected as many of the Matchulat’s photos and personal items as they could in case they were not able to save the house. Without the Thompsons’ quick thinking and their concern for their friends and neighbors, that could easily have been the outcome.

“Fortunately, with the barrage of water dumps from the air and fire hoses on the ground, the fire’s force focused on the trees and the dry grass above the house and the immediate danger was over. But, Gary and Lil and others who had arrived, stayed on the scene to make sure that stray embers from the burgeoning fire did not land on the roof.

“In the meantime, crews from the Western Lane division of the Oregon Department of Forestry began trying to contain the fire. They put out a priority alert and other crews began arriving from as far away as McKenzie and Lowell Fire Districts. Helicopters and air tankers continued dumping water and retardants on the fire. Local resident, Bruce McDonald, and others who had cats and heavy equipment began working on a fire line to try and keep the fire from spreading. The next day, more crews arrived. One of them, in five trucks, pulled into our store parking lot to get supplies before heading for the fire. They had been fighting the large Southern Oregon fire near Glide and their clothes still were fragrant with the smell of smoke. But, they knew that they were needed here, so they came.

“We have a lot of heroes to thank… not only Cherie, Gary, Lil, Bruce and all of the local and out-of-area firefighters, but all of the people who were glued to their computers, reading and commenting on breaking news about the fire… the ones sending prayers and thanks to all who were working so hard to save the lives and homes of our residents. I have a special soft-spot in my heart for those who offered help in the form of providing food and drink for the firefighters, making trailers and transportation available for threatened livestock and beds for anyone who became displaced by the fire. All are heroes in my estimation.

“I’m very proud of our community and of all of those who showed their concern. Thank you!”

Please use caution this summer. It is not as hot and dry as it was in 2015, but the fire danger is listed as “moderate” and all activities using gas or spark-emitting equipment are prohibited between the hours of 1:00 and 8:00 p.m. currently.

Remember the fire of 2015. Let’s not allow this to happen again in our community. Be safe everyone!

Sweet Lorane Community News – February 18, 2016

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
February 18, 2016
By Pat Edwards

The major Lorane news this week is a large fire that took the barn of the Scott and Tammy Walters family of Lorane last Friday morning. At first, Jim and others at the store thought it was the house that was on fire. From the vantage point of the store, flames could be seen coming out of the roof of what they thought was the house. When Jim spotted it a little before 8:00 a.m., the Lorane Fire Department was already on site and a short while later, a water tanker arrived from Cottage Grove. It was put out fairly quickly, but according to Tammy Walters, “We lost the barn and some animals, but everyone is ok. I am thankful for our firefighters and great community.” We are so thankful that the Walters family and home were not hurt and I know there will many offers of help coming from the community.

Lorane is offering its residents a new activity. The Lorane Health and Fitness Group has recently organized. They even have a Facebook page called Health and Fitness in Lorane at https://www.facebook.com/groups/976090215803530/. According to their first announcement, “We are trying to organize some kind of exercise scene in Lorane. We know of yoga, crossfit and zumba instructors.” Last Tuesday night, they met at the Lorane Grange for the first time to workout to a Richard Simmon’s exercise video on big screen. One of the responses to that was that the evening was a success with lots of laughs and fun. On Wednesday night, they planned a Pilates session and urged everyone to bring a mats.

For those interested, the group is welcoming everyone who wants to participate. They will be spending part of these first sessions in discussing the various forms of exercise the majority are interested in as well as the day(s) and time(s) that would work best. Children are welcome. They are providing a play area for the young kids who come. Call Pam Kersgaard at 541-942-6193 for more information.

Amy Jentzsch of Lorane has posed a question for the area teenagers. After having recently returned from the Oregon statewide high school robotics competition, she wants to know if Crow High School might be represented there next year. She said that there is money available to start a team if there is interest for next year. For more information on Oregon’s robotics competitions, go to http://www.ortop.org/fll/

Saturday, February 27, is the monthly Spaghetti Dinner and Bingo evening at Lorane Grange. Dinner is 5:30 pm and bingo begins at 6:30 pm. No one has won the progressive bingo blackout yet, so it has to grown. There is also a 50/50 drawing.  There’s good food, delicious desserts and lots of laughter to be had at this fundraiser for the Lorane Grange.

The Rural Art Center/Lorane Grange Talent Show is scheduled for Sunday, April 3rd at 3:00 p.m. According to Lil Thompson, it looks like some intriguing talent has been signed up, but they are looking for more. To sign up in advance, contact Lil at 541-942-5701 or the Rural Art Center at ruralartcenter@gmail.com.  You may also sign in that day by coming a little early

Crow High School Seniors, be sure to get your Federal Student Aid applications in no later than March 1. Several local scholarships are being offered.

The Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District is still looking for District budget committee members.  If you are willing to donate some valuable time to the district, call Lee Ann at 541-686-2100.

Thanks to Lil Thompson for providing many of the updates this week. I am still working through the virus from you-know-where that caught hold of me in January. It’s like a bad dream that keeps reoccurring, but I’m hoping that the doctor’s diagnosis that it also involves allergies I usually get this time of year, that we’ve finally got it figured out. Fingers crossed!