Tag: Lorane Wildfire

Sweet Lorane Community News, September 24, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
September 24, 2020
By Pat Edwards

Lorane firefightere, Pete Kersgaard, viewing the aftermath of the wildfire that burned between Carpenter’s-By-Pass and Territorial Roads. Photo by Shane Kronberger


Our community dodged another wildfire bullet again this week. At about 4:00 p.m. last Wednesday, September 23, high winds developed in our area. Apparently, a tree, located on private property situated between south Territorial and Carpenter’s By-Pass roads fell on some power lines which ignited a fire that quickly began to spread. Many of us were glued to the Lorane Facebook page and the various fire alert websites to get updated information as it happened. Neighbors close to the fire began loading their horses and livestock into trailers in case they needed to quickly move out of the way of the blaze which the winds were blowing towards Territorial. The fear was palpable, but soon, fire vehicles and Bruce McDonald’s big CAT which has already seen a lot of use in local fires, were seen heading for the site. Shortly afterwards, reports and photos of helicopters with buckets of water were seen flying over the community and we all rejoiced. Prayers went out on-line for rain which was already showing up as sprinkles coming from the west. Within minutes, reports began showing up that the rain had hit the area as a steady downpour. Although the fear was still present, we all began to feel that this was one battle that we were not going to lose.

Helicopter with bucket of water heading for the Lorane wildfire on September 23, 2020. Photo by Jessica Betts

During the duration of the fire, the administrators of the Lorane, Oregon Facebook page were busily manning the page in order to give family members of area residents and neighboring communities permission to join the page so that they could follow the progression.

The next day, the Lorane Rural Fire Protection District fire department released the following statement:

“With the help of North Douglas, Lane Fire Authority, ODF, air support and good ole Oregon rain, we were able to get a good knock down. (The) last unofficial estimate is around 10-15 acres in size. ODF will stay on scene mopping up hot spots overnight and possibly into tomorrow. We also have a dozer on site to create a fire line around the perimeter. Thank you to all of our supporting agencies for the quick response.”

The community was especially vocal in posting thanks to all who worked so hard to protect us. These thanks included in the many posts the following morning can be summed up by Karen Pidgeon.

“Heartfelt thanks to all who helped get the fire out, and everyone for their communications. After the weeks of fires and smoke and worry, this was a huge fear for everyone out here… so thankful for such a great community!”

Thank you, LRFPD and all those who helped with the fire, for taking such good care of us! It was a pretty scary time and we are so thankful that so many were prepared and able to get this fire out before it got started. Mother Nature was definitely on our side last night, too, but you are all our heroes.

Sweet Lorane Community News – August 13, 2015

Fern Ridge Review                                    
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
August 13, 2015
By Pat Edwards

Lorane has been in the news for several days this past week and the wildfire that threatened homes in our area has consumed all of us. Today is Friday, August 14, as I’m writing this. I’ve gone over my deadline, but there was just too much going on with the fire during the past two days that I wasn’t able to focus on writing the column. I am the administrator of the Lorane Facebook page and I was kept constantly busy monitoring it and giving permissions to the 79 new people who requested to join it in order to get the news of the fire and to comment on postings. Also, I wanted to be able to write a happy ending to it for this week’s column.

I’ve waited long enough – our happy ending is in sight, even if the fire has not yet been fully contained at this point. The weather is teasing us with possible rain and a few stray “mistings” this morning. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but it feels good and it has slowed down the progress of the fire, itself. The official word is that it has burned 180 acres and is 70% contained after coming within 75 feet of the Matchulat home, near where it started. Yes, that’s the same Matchulat family that has been mentioned in this column in recent weeks. Fortunately, the Matchulat’s were spending a few quiet days at the beach to rest up from the furious rounds of fundraisers put on to help with son Michael’s medical expenses following a diagnosis of Stage IV colorectal cancer.

11894399_1040378239313978_6221374511406585806_oThe 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 11888121_1625459517709138_4611884414108457338_nthinking 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.

11866502_1625459494375807_2767141427196312650_nIn 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.

11831680_1625459541042469_3090985966011081280_nWe 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.