Skip to Content

Dramatic ODOT video shows raging fire approach, destroy radio tower near Detroit

(Update: Adding video, comments by ODOT official)

DETROIT, Ore. (KTVZ) -- ODOT has released dramatic video footage taken by an automated camera as the Beachie Creek Fire roared through the Santiam Canyon, destroying a radio tower used by the agency above Detroit Lake.

At the end, as the wind-fanned fire sets the trees ablaze, the camera literally melts in temperatures recorded in a shelter by the tower at 175 degrees, said Joseph Messman, wireless communications section manager with ODOT.

"The way it was described was that was like a jet engine essentially being shot at that tower and at the building, and essentially there was basically almost nothing left of that building," Messman told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday.

Along with the devastation, the fire also created a disruption in communication for both the Oregon Department Of Transportation and Oregon State Police in the area.

Messman described watching it all unfold: "It was an absolutely stressful situation, watching this infrastructure burn."

But he added that he was pleased with the way crews came together from different public and private agencies to restore temporary communications for firefighters, emergency personnel and others.

"I saw a really good team effort to come together and try to work together, regardless of who owned what," he said.

Author Profile Photo

Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.



  1. it is interesting that state and local governments implore citizens to maintain 100 feet of defensible space around their property but don’t seem to follow their own advice.

    1. The state also claims that ranching is disastrous to Sage Grouse and Desert Tortoise. Funny tho….the timber companies that are in control of the brush-choked woods, are the very same people making closed door deals with the governor to do away with our UNANIMOUSLY AWARDED BILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT and jobs

    2. When the wind is blowing 100 or even 1000 ft means nothing. In 2018 the Substation fire spotted across the Columbia River. The fire calls the shots, not the amateur fire experts that dominate these comments

Leave a Reply

Skip to content