I am hoping I can return to some form of normal now that the Pike St. Fire is almost history. There are a ton of “Thank You”s that need to go around and I know I am going to miss some. Again, Tillamook has shown me why I love this place. It appears we escaped with a garage burned and a minor injury.
When I got the call that first night, things were totally crazy and one of the first things I did was activate the Incident Command Team. What a group of professionals. I have said in my many talks that I am the most blessed Emergency Manager in all of Oregon and possibly the United States. This is truly a TEAM that always works together like a well oiled machine. This team of people worked for you tirelessly for days on end with just a few hours of sleep, here and there, and got the job done making my job as the Incident Commander more efficient.
Next, the true heroes, all the firefighters, ODF, our wonderful local Fire Districts, the Southfork Crew, then all the folks that came in with heavy equipment to secure the fire lines. These are the folks that through their work we lost no, that’s right, zero homes! Thank you to all the Law Enforcement personnel who have also put in some extra long hours. They even went door-to-door to get people evacuated as we designated the Level 3 areas. Thank you to City and County Public Works who got roads blocked and provided additional equipment to the fire fight, to Tillamook PUD who had a liaison in the Command Center to instantly and more efficiently coordinate power line issues. To all the residents affected by this, you heeded the warning and made the fight easier. Thank you to all the businesses that made sure everyone was fed, one less thing we had to worry about. Hats off to the Tillamook Fairgrounds who still has evacuees from Lincoln County, some of which have lost everything in the fire there in and around Otis. They have even taken in large animals from that area and others. Thank you to the “Y’ and to the Nestucca School Superintendent who offered additional evacuation space should we need it. And to the rest of you who have given an outpouring of food, water and clothing with more offers coming in each day.
Here is the site soon that has taken on donation management – https://www.facebook.com/PNWFireRelief
Tillamook County, again, thank you, thank you, thank you…you should all be proud. We have come together during Floods, Winter Storms, Tornadoes and other Storm related events, and now we can add Wildfires. I hope you all are as proud as I am to live in this beautiful County. Next week I will begin closing this out but don’t forget, we are still dealing with COVID-19 and this will be put back at the top of my response efforts…again.
Thank you Tillamook….
Lt. Gordon McCraw, Tillamook County Sheriff’s OFfice, County Incident Commander, Pike Rd. Fire