Santiam Canyon Fire

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) – Thousands of people have been forced from their homes because of multiple wildfires burning near Salem, Oregon. The Kent family had to get out at a moment’s notice when fire began to spread near their home.

“We drove under a tree that had fallen over and there was burning limbs and it was like urgent and scary to get out,” Sabrina Kent said.

Kent said that she helped her parents evacuate first, then got her kids and husband out. They had to evacuate a third time from her brother’s home where they originally were staying.

“It was like scary, I mean the whole hill was on fire and we could see a crack in the neighbor’s barn door and the road to get out there was fire on the sides of it,” she said.

Josh Olsen and his family left Santiam Canyon just in time.

“A couple hours later we came down here we found out it was closed, and we would have been trapped,” he said.

Olsen said the winds and air quality had gotten bad so that’s why they thought it was better to leave sooner rather than later.

“The winds up there had gotten so bad and the air quality that we just thought it would be a better idea,” he said.

Leaving your home under these circumstances is difficult enough, but in the middle of a pandemic, it’s even more challenging.

“It’s just been difficult, you can’t even tell different degrees of difficulty anymore something else gets piled on and you say I guess I’m doing this now too,” Olsen said.

The families don’t know how long they’ll be staying in their RV’s. Both are currently at local grocery store in Salem until they can figure out what to do next.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had easy, so I don’t know what less or more difficult feels like anymore,” Olsen said.

Both anxiously looking forward to when this is all over.

“This is the most messed up year, can we just fast forward?” Kent said.

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