Unprecedented wildfires threaten several Oregon ROCs

a photo showing the glow of nearby wildfires and a trading post sign.
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Photo captured by a cooperative Member one mile north of Umpqua Ranch Cooperative in Idleyld Park, Oregon.

ROC USA® has been closely monitoring the wildfires in Oregon and Washington in relation to resident-owned communities.

Reports indicate that four cooperatives in Oregon have been issued evacuation orders – Vida-Lea Community Cooperative in Leaburg, Umpqua Ranch Cooperative in Idleyld Park, Mountain View Cooperative in Estacada, and Clackamas River Community Cooperative in Clackamas. A fifth cooperative, Dexter Oaks, is on alert for a possible evacuation.

Julie Massa, a consultant with Columinate working with ROC USA® Network, has been in communication with staff at CASA of Oregon, the ROC USA Network Certified Technical Assistance Provider for these communities. Massa said that many cooperative Members are sheltering at a local schools, where it has been difficult to maintain social distancing. Additionally, breathing conditions from the smoke are affecting many residents, especially the elderly cooperative Members.

At the time of this story’s publication, all ROC homes were thought to be safe, but changes in wind direction and other factors are expected to play a significant role in those areas.

Wildfires are also burning through Washington, although no ROCs there are under evacuation orders. One cooperative near the Bonney Lake fires is on alert for possible evacuation. Miles Nowlin of ROC Northwest has been working with the community to establish an evacuation plan.

“Our thoughts are with everyone in danger of the wildfires in the Pacific Northwest, but most especially with the Members of resident owned communities,” said ROC USA President Paul Bradley. “We hope everyone is staying safe and evacuating as necessary.”

It is estimated that up to 1,500 manufactured homes in private communities have already been lost in Oregon wildfires.

Updates will be provided as they become available.