FireWatch: Almeda Fire survivor considers moving away from southern Oregon after loss from two wildfires

Ruby Reid lost her Talent home in the Almeda Fire. Months later, she lost her bee keeping farm in Bonanza to the Cutoff Fire.

Posted: Sep 8, 2021 10:20 AM
Updated: Sep 8, 2021 5:33 PM

TALENT, Ore. -- On September 8, 2020, the Almeda Fire swept through residential communities burning down homes and businesses that had stood there for many years.

Among the homes that burned down was that of Ruby Reid and her fiance, Chris. Ruby and Chris moved to Talent in 2015 after meeting while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

Reid tells Newswatch 12 she remembers multiple fires from 2015 alone. The fire at Warm Springs Reservation in central Oregon burned more than 1,000 homes, and this one was prominent in her memory as she remembered skipping over burned areas while on the hiking trail.

Reid says fires that year caused issues on the trail from southern California to the Washington/Canada border. She recalls checking for fire information and avoiding burned areas constantly throughout that hiking trip. Much of the smoke in the air during her time spent on the trail brought on breathing problems for Reid.

Although Reid was aware of fire dangers between northern California and southern Oregon, she did not expect to experience another major fire after Almeda.

"We lost our home and our little car and all of our products and inventory for our business, and all of the tools from the business. I was lucky enough to get out with my three cats and my life," Reid said.

Months later, in June 2021, Reid lost the beekeeping portion of her business, Valhalla Organics, to the Cutoff Fire in Klamath County.

Though she's been able to keep her head up and spirits high, she worries about the possibility of another devastating fire in southern Oregon.

"There's not a day that goes by that we don't rehearse scenarios of what we would do if, God forbid, it were to come to our new place in Klamath," Reid said.

She and her husband are now considering moving to Virginia, since it rains there in the summer.

Many people across the Rogue Valley have lived through close calls from wildfires. Josephine County's District Chief for Rural Metro Fire, Austin Prince, has worked 33 years putting out fires and protecting communities. He says at this point in his career and serving the community for this many years, he has never considered moving.

Prince tells Newswatch 12 by the end of his career, he wants to look back on those years knowing he served his community in the best way he knew how.

Experiencing multiple fires could take a toll on anyone, but both Prince and Reid walk away with major lessons from their experiences.

Prince said the Almeda Fire was a reminder to southern Oregonians that they aren't immune to devastating wildfire damage.

"Our anniversary of this particular event [the Almeda Fire] reminds us once again, that we could have it happen again."

Reid enters the anniversary of the Almeda Fire saying, "We've just learned that difficult things happen in life where we just kind of have to roll with the punches and move on as best we can."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309841

Reported Deaths: 3569
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50840642
Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4636268

Reported Deaths: 67966
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144412725849
Riverside3575584802
San Diego3492274006
San Bernardino3468955501
Orange3135295354
Sacramento1498662070
Santa Clara1403871841
Fresno1356471889
Kern1343971515
Alameda1160681320
Ventura976231120
San Joaquin971621615
Contra Costa95595924
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72812896
San Mateo52172607
San Francisco51808605
Monterey49445565
Solano44061312
Santa Barbara43065500
Sonoma39376376
Merced39279535
Placer36390364
Imperial34235755
Kings30038285
San Luis Obispo28273313
Madera21672258
Butte21205230
Shasta20647276
Santa Cruz20134211
Yolo19118239
Marin17080242
El Dorado15964127
Sutter13055153
Napa1224695
Yuba923461
Nevada845685
Humboldt826284
Tehama821184
San Benito708567
Mendocino681971
Lassen636827
Tuolumne612593
Lake601087
Amador489759
Glenn396430
Siskiyou388841
Calaveras339366
Del Norte334234
Colusa290718
Inyo166239
Mono14935
Plumas12336
Mariposa96712
Trinity71910
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1180
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 60°
Brookings
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 79°
Crater Lake
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 60°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 60°
Klamath Falls
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 54°
Warmer tomorrow, hazy skies return Wednesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events