SAMS VALLEY, Ore.– The fire was quick and explosive. Last Wednesday, the Ramsey Canyon Fire made its appearance in the Sams Valley causing many residents around the area to make a mad dash to grab all of their essentials. However, one young man, stayed to help the firefighters in a unique way.
Haydn Beck, 20, has lived at his family’s ranch for his whole life. For him, Sams Valley is a special place where someone can find an enjoyment of the vast land stretched around them.
“It’s an outdoors-mans playground out here,” he said. “Like, you can really ask for nothing better.”
For Beck’s family’s ranch, the land provides more than a living. It’s a connection to the roots of tradition.
“I respect the land. I’ve spent so much time on it and I want it to be here so we can keep spending time on it,” he said. “It’s here for a reason, it’s here for our use. I just hate to see it burn.”
So when the fire broke out just over the hill, moving towards his home – it was terrifying.
“I could see whole mountain just lit up! It’s like, ‘Oh that’s close. That’s not good at all,'” said Beck.
Watching the land he grew up on burn, pushed Beck all the more to help firefighters who came to ask if they could use water from his family’s property.
“I said, ‘Of course. Technically we do not own the rights to the water. It’s technically government owned,'” said Beck. “So you don’t have to ask but we really appreciate it. Anything we can do to help.”
But besides providing water, Beck also had other plans.
“I picked barbecuing up years ago,” he said with a grin. “It was my first time, honestly after I brought it in Mom’s like, ‘Hey your dad’s not barbecuing anymore, it’s kicked over to you.'”
So as firefighters spent their days grinding, Beck spent his days grilling. With the help of nearby friends and neighbors, more food and drinks began to flow through the Beck household and into the grateful bellies of the crews.
“Hot dogs, burgers, we’ve been doing tri-tip, a little everything,” he said. “Yeah we went over five dozen burgers, four dozen hot dogs.”
Appreciative of both the food and the water, firefighters have been able to get some relief from a hectic fire season.
“I’m cooking food for myself and my family that are still out here. So why not cook a little extra for them,” said Beck.
But in his own way, Beck is showing his appreciation for those that are helping to save the land he loves so much.
“Personally, I think, if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here right now. I think it would have jumped the line and we would have been burnt to a crisp so I’m grateful for what they’ve done and everyone that’s been here.”
If you want more information about the Ramsey Canyon Fire or the evacuation levels, you can find out more on the Inciweb page here.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.