Paisley, in southern Oregon, is a small town of about 220 people. It lies on the edge of the Great Basin with sagebrush to the east and forest to the west. A small, spring-fed river, Chewaucan, flows through it.
The mayor said success came after setbacks – at some point the fire jumped over the waterway.
The dry, gusty winds and temperatures in the 80s didn’t help, he said.
“So it’s not a fun time for firefighters to tackle this stuff,” he said.
More backburns broke out on Tuesday night and the efforts eventually worked, sending the flames away and up a ridge, he said.
Like other communities threatened by forest fires, the city initiated a level 3 evacuation, which, as the mayor put it, means only one thing: “Go”.
Some have loaded storage trailers. They had the opportunity to travel south to Red Cross facilities at a Lakeview exhibition center, but many did not. “People know other people. They went to friends and relatives. Kind of spread out, ”said the mayor.
Others remained seated. As he explained, people cannot be forced to leave their homes, farms and livestock.