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“Mill City’s Canyon Strong Wildfire Memorial”

posted Aug 23, 2021, 4:50 PM by Stacie Cook

The City of Mill City, in conjunction with Marion County, is hosting “Mill City’s Canyon Strong Wildfire Memorial” on Sunday, September 5 at noon at Kimmel Park.

The hour long event, one year after the worst wildfires in the Santiam Canyon in 400 years, will remember those who died, support those who survived and honor the firefighters who risked their lives to save the community of 2000.

The program will feature stories of loss and grief, courage and sacrifice, and hope and resilience as the community strives to move forward.  The 11 mostly volunteer firefighters, who stood their ground on Labor Day 2020 after the professionals were ordered to flee to safety, will be called by name and lauded for their heroism.

“We need to continue the healing that will keep us moving forward,” said Mill City resident Dave Keasey.  “We must recognize those who have lost so much that can never be replaced. We must honor those who risked their lives to keep this disaster from being so very much worse.  And we must share our stories which are a vital part of the healing process for both the teller and the listener.”

After the program, those who would like to share their wildfire stories will be invited to gather in the Kimmel Park river shelter.  This informal discussion will be facilitated by Mike Stair, pastor of the Gates Community Church of Christ and Carol Swanson, pastor of the Mill City Presbyterian Church.

Everyone is invited to bring lawn chairs and enjoy a complimentary lunch provided by The Corn Dog Company of Central Oregon which boasts “the best foot long, honey drizzled corn dog in the world.”

For more information contact City Hall at 503.897.2302.