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Sisters woman offers three evacuated families shelter after fleeing Holiday Farm Fire

(Update: Adding video, comments from evacuees; fire update)

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A woman in Sisters has taken three families under her wing after they were evacuated from their homes due the Holiday Farm Fire.

Blanche Tadlock, who lived in the McKenzie Valley for nearly 50 years before moving to Sisters, said Wednesday the families are wondering if they will have a home to return to. 

The Holiday Farm Fire started during Monday’s windstorm along the McKenzie River, growing to about 37,000 acres in 24 hours.

As of Wednesday afternoon, fire crews said it had grown to about 105,000 acres, with zero percent containment, burning on both sides of state Highway 126.

Officials said Wednesday they had determined most structures were destroyed in Blue River, but crews saved McKenzie High School, as well as most structures in the town of Vida.

“I grew up on the McKenzie River for 50 years, so all my family and my precious beloved friends are there, experiencing much devastation,” Tadlock said.

When some of her friends and family from the area affected by the fire reached out for help, Tadlock opened her doors to three families and two dogs.

Carol Chalette, one of Tadlock’s close friends, and her daughter fled their home late Monday night between Blue River and the McKenzie Bridge after authorities ordered residents to evacuate.

“We heard late in the evening that a power line had come down, and we knew it was going to be really dangerous, because the wind was unbelievably high,” Chalette said.

She said she and her daughter slept in their cars at the McKenzie River Ranger Station Monday night before they were told it was safe to return to their home so they could retrieve important paperwork and food.

Tadlock’s nephew, Jason Rodgers, said he and his wife were planning to evacuate to Sisters that same night, but they wanted to wait and see if conditions would worsen.

“We felt it would be better to at least stay until daylight, so we can assess the situation and see what’s going on,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers and Chalette said the lack of Wi-Fi and power made it difficult to communicate with people as they tried to evacuate.

 “We drove here just knowing Aunt Blanche had a place,” Rodgers said. “Everything’s all good.”

Tadlock said if anyone else is seeking shelter in Sisters from the fires, she will welcome them.

“They came because they knew they could,” Tadlock said. “I love every single one of them.”

Central Oregon / Fire / Fire Alert / News / Sisters / Top Stories
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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.

Comments

7 Comments

    1. And maybe you could make a comment that’s not condescending and over-sensationalized…
      This lady sounds like she is a very caring and compassionate person, and that’s a rare
      quality in todays society, because we now live in a self-absorbed, “All about me” world…

      I don’t know how big her house is or how much money she has, and I don’t care. Not all people with Mc Mansions and money are self absorbed and materialistic, which I’m sure is what you were insinuating…
      I know a couple people who are Extremely wealthy. Both are self made men who got where they are by working very hard and being good with their money.

      One of the men has lived in a very tiny cabin/shack on the McKenzie river in Blue River
      for over 60 years. I haven’t heard yet, but I have a feeling it got destroyed in the fire. He still drives a pickup that he bought in the early 1970’s, and is one of the most down
      to earth people you would ever meet. If you didn’t know him, you would think he is just some old guy that doesn’t have two nickles to rub together, but that’s not the case.
      He is actually part owner in several multi million dollar race horses, and has had two horses that raced in the Kentucky Derby, and other races.
      My long winded point is, don’t judge people just by where they live, or what they have.
      My dad told me that when I was very young, and it is very true. Yes there are plenty of materialistic, stuck up, self-centered people with big houses and lots of money, but not all of them are that way.

  1. Really, that’s what you got out of that short article? I thought of a neighbor helping neighbors. Especially in this time of Covid, Ms. Padlock has my admiration.

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