Firefighters Battle Wildfire and Structure Fire in a Day of Multiple Emergencies

Photo by Sky Chappell – Police officers Trevor Sundquist (Left) and Allen Cripe(Right) coordinate with firefighters to manage the scene of a structural fire in Sweet Home.

Sweet Home faced a series of emergencies Friday, starting with a wildfire sparked by a downed power line in the rural area of Cascadia, followed by a structure fire that threatened a residence in the city.

The first incident occurred around 12:34 p.m., approximately 13 miles east of Sweet Home in Cascadia, when the Sweet Home Fire District was dispatched to address a fallen wire. Upon arrival, firefighters encountered flames 2-3 feet high along Highway 20, spreading quickly into adjacent trees and underbrush—the presence of a live power line complicated firefighting efforts. However, with the prompt assistance of Pacific Power, the blaze was contained to a 300-foot by 25-foot area. Support at the scene included personnel from the Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon State Police, and Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

“This is a startling reminder of how fast fuels can dry out with just a few days of sunshine,” Battalion Chief Randy Whitfield said, “We are far ahead of the normal time of year we see incidents such as this.”

Later the same day, at 5:26 p.m., firefighters were called to a fire in the 2700 block of Long Street, initially reported as a shed fire that was spreading to a nearby tree and subsequently to a house. The Battalion Chief arrived within minutes to find the shed fully engulfed, with the fire damaging a tree and the house’s siding and spreading to the eaves. Firefighters managed to prevent the fire from entering the home, though the shed and a portion of a carport were destroyed. Crews remained on scene for about 90 minutes to ensure the fire had not spread further into the house or attic. The Sweet Home Fire District responded with three chief officers, two engines, and a medic unit, with assistance from the Sweet Home Police Department. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

In addition to these fires, Sweet Home medics handled numerous medical calls throughout the day, at times managing four simultaneous incidents. The Lebanon Fire District provided crucial support by assisting with several calls that required patient transport to local hospitals. The Sweet Home Fire District thanked the Lebanon Fire District for their assistance during this hectic day.