Field fire near Lebanon prompted Level 3 evacuations, nearly 40 acres scorched

People in part of Linn County are still on high alert after a brush fire prompted level 3 “leave now” evacuations just south of Lebanon.
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 10:36 PM PDT
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LINN COUNTY Ore. (KPTV) - People in part of Linn County are still on high alert after a brush fire prompted Level 3 “Leave Now” evacuations just south of Lebanon.

What started as any other Tuesday afternoon took a turn for people who live on Sodaville Cut Off Drive in Lebanon. Heidi Hyatt said she was running errands when she heard the news just before 2 p.m.

“Got a phone call and they said my house was on fire. Luckily, my house was not on fire,” Hyatt said.

Hyatt said she rushed home to find her field scorched.

“I came home to the whole hillside on fire,” Hyatt explained. “Hay, pasture hay. We just harvested and feeding the horses and stuff there was round bales out there that caught fire. All the fence posts, fencing, everything is gone. All the way up.”

Thankfully, neighbors acted quickly and moved her horses and donkey to safety.

“Thank goodness my sister lives up the hill. Her and her husband and a neighbor man, they had my horses and they had them in my garden area,” Hyatt said.

Maximus Williams said he saw the beginning of the blaze. He believes a flame may have come from underneath some machinery.

“The field caught on fire with the swather right up there,” Maximus Williams, who works nearby, said. “We were having to cut the grass and combine it, and it got stuck underneath the belt and some bearings and it got hot, and it just dropped a little flame.”

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Williams said fire crews were on scene fast.

“They were here really quick. I was amazed. Really happy to see them,” Williams said. “Wheat catches on fire so fast and so hot and so quick.”

Firefighters from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Lebanon Fire, and mutual aid partners responded. ODF said the fire was under control at around 3 p.m.

People who live nearby said, they’re grateful, the damage wasn’t worse.

“I do feel very fortunate,” Hyatt said.

The Lebanon Fire District said the fire was caused by farm equipment harvesting the field. The fire covered 39 acres of land, no structures were damaged from the fire, and no injuries were reported.