Selma, Ore.- Residents in the Oak Flats area of Josephine County only had a few hours to react after a level three evacuation notice was announced today for residents living within the U.S. Forest Service boundary of Illinois River Road.
Residents say they could feel the smoke get thicker and thicker, as the Chetco Bar Fire flames come closer and closer to their homes.
Caleb Baker and his wife live along Illinois River Road. Initially they were waiting to see if they would need to evacuate but as soon as the smoke got worse they decided to stop waiting and start packing.
Baker and his family live in a mobile home. They’ve been parked on his family friends property for the past 6 months, setting up their home there.
Baker says he’s not as worried about how the fire will impact his family since they can move easier than others but he’s hoping to be able to bring their trailer back and establish solid roots there for him and his family.
“I’m hoping this spot doesn’t burn down cause I like it,” Baker says.
While the Bakers were lucky enough to be able to take most of their belongings with them they aren’t losing sight of what matters.
Caleb Baker says, “Material possessions can be replaced but I would back that special stuff.”
With the rush to evacuate there’s one thing that Baker wants his neighbors and everyone forced to leave because of the Chetco Bar Fire to remember.
“A lot of people leave their pets. Don’t leave your pets that’s messed up.”
Caleb brought his two dogs and his two children along with him and his wife as they evacuated with their trailer and two cars in tow.
He plans to stay relatively close to the Illinois River Road area since he manages the Ray’s where Illinois River Road and Highway 199 intersect.
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