A fire chief broke down in tears as she told her husband and two children that they lost their home while she fought another devastating wildfire.
Oregon Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Chief Christiana Rainbow Plews and many of her colleagues lost their homes to a wildfire.
Plews left her home around 8 pm to respond to a report of a downed power line. She contacted local departments for assistance as the fire quickly spread.
According to Oregon Live, she issued a level 3 evacuation order for Leaburg, Nimrod, Vida, and Blue River along a 20-mile stretch of the McKenzie River east of Eugene-Springfield by 1 am.
Plews tried to call her husband but couldn’t reach him. When she finally got one of their children on his phone, she said to him: “Get in your car and get out of there.”
Eric Plews and their sons grabbed some items and raced outside to tell their neighbors that they needed to get out.
24 hours later, Plews found out that their homes had been completely destroyed.
“My first thought was, “How do I tell my family?” I didn’t know where my family was,” she told OregonLive.
When Plews finally got in touch with her husband, she expressed: “I’m really sorry everything is gone.”
Eric also broke down in tears, saying: “We literally lost everything. We had two houses there. They’re just gone.”
But the husband told his wife that “we’re all safe. You’ve got to stay safe. We’ll rebuild.”
Plews wrote on the department’s Facebook page: “I do not know what the future holds or how to navigate this but I am taking one tiny shaking uncertain step at a time and I ask only that you all do the same.
“Be patient. Be kind. Hold the ones you love. We have to do this together.
“We will come out the other side stronger and more resilient. We have all that matters. We have each other.”
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