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Estacada families wonder about the fate of their homes after evacuating

On Wednesday the City of Estacada moved to a level three evacuation zone, which means people in that area needed to get out.
Credit: Cynthia Trendell
Estacada neighborhood filled with smoke

ESTACADA, Ore. — The Riverside Fire is causing a lot of worry for people who have already left their homes and are wondering if they’re still standing.

One of the people worried about the state of her and her loved ones’ homes, is Cynthia Trendell.

“On Tuesday afternoon the smoke was coming in and I got a text message from my mom showing the smoke from the front door and I said, ‘do you want me to come home’ and she said, ‘no, let’s wait it out,’” said Trendell.

She said that was when Estacada was still under a level two evacuation notice.

RELATED: Clackamas County fires: Molalla told to evacuate; Oregon City, Canby, Sandy told to be ready

“Within 30 minutes, our neighbors were coming over saying, ‘we’re at a possible level three, you may want to get ready to go,’” Trendell said. “So, I rushed home.”

When she got home, she started throwing things in her car as quickly as she could. Then she hit the road out of town with her nine-year-old son, Elijah.

It wasn’t until Wednesday that Estacada moved into a level three evacuation zone, which means people in that area needed to get out.

On Thursday morning, there was a lot of smoke in the air and KGW's Sky8 helicopter captured video of cars and structures burned up.

“My only thought is, ‘thank goodness for house insurance,’” said Trendell. “To have to walk away from your home that you don’t know if you’re gonna come back home and it’s still gonna be there, or if it’s gonna be gone, and then to hear this morning that people are like going in there and trying to break into homes and steal, it’s like, why add fuel to the fire? No pun intended.”

On top of worrying about her own home, she’s also worried about her grandmother’s home, which she says may be closer to the fire.

“She’s been there 30-plus years and she has pictures, mementos, memories, everything in that house,” Trendell said.

In addition, Trendell is also considering how all this is impacting her son.

“These kids have already been through so much with COVID-19 and then the school changes,” she said. “Estacada School District started on Tuesday but then ended up having to cancel the rest of the week because of the fires.”

But Trendell has faith in her community.                             

“It’s such a good wholesome community, where we have each other’s backs and if you need help the help’s there, and so I know that we’ll get through this,” she said.


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