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Alaska resident escapes Oregon wildfire with elderly father

Smoke and ash darken the sky in Holley Oregon.
Smoke and ash darken the sky in Holley Oregon.(KTUU)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 11:35 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage resident Lori King knows first hand about the devastating wildfires in Oregon. King has been helping her 96-year-old father at the family farm in the Willamette Valley, just west of Sweet Home Oregon, ever since her mother passed away earlier this year. King said COVID-19 hit shortly after her mother’s death and then came the wildfires. The order to evacuate was issued Wednesday for the Holiday Farm Fire but King said her father was reluctant to go.

Lori King helped her 96-year-old father escape the wildfire.
Lori King helped her 96-year-old father escape the wildfire.(KTUU)

“I called the non-emergency number for the sheriff’s office and just asked the staff there, do you guys want us out of here? And they said ‘yes, 10 minutes ago, please. They were polite but made it clear, yes, all of us along the drainage, they wanted us out of there.’”

King, who had packed up the car the night before, said they drove through smoke and ash but were able to avoid flames. They are now staying safely at a hotel but worry about others in nearby towns who may not be so lucky.

King said so far, the family farm is still standing.
King said so far, the family farm is still standing.(KTUU)

“We’ve heard personal accounts of some of our friends who rescued other people who were literally running down the road trying to run in front of the blaze,” she said. “Other people, a friend of my cousins, we talked to, he woke up and the fire was in their front yard. And by the time he got out, it was inside their house.”

King said so far her family home is okay and she’s hopeful the fire will spare it. She’s been told by agency officials that it all depends on the wind.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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