Paisley, in southern Oregon, is a small town of about 220 people. It lies on the edge of the Great Basin, with mugwort to the east and forest to the west. A small river fed by springs, Chewaucan, runs through it.
The mayor said that success came after the setbacks: at one point, the fire jumped the stream.
Dry, gusty winds and temperatures in the 1980s didn’t help, he said.
“So it’s not a fun time for firefighters to deal with these things,” he said.
Further fires occurred on Tuesday evening and the efforts eventually worked, driving the flames away and up a ridge, he said.
Like other communities threatened by fires, the city has started a level 3 evacuation, which means, as the mayor said, only one thing: “Go.”
Some have done so by loading camp trailers. Their options were to travel south to Red Cross facilities at a fairground in Lakeview, but many did not. “People know other people. They went to the homes of friends and relatives. A little scattered, “said the mayor.
Others remained. As he explained, you cannot force people to leave their homes, farms and livestock.