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Sams Valley locals lean on each other during East Evans Fire

No members of the Sams Valley Community Church have evacuated because of the East Evans Fire, but all members say they're grateful for the two hundred crew members on the fire line.

Posted: Aug 4, 2019 3:38 PM
Updated: Aug 4, 2019 7:18 PM

WHITE CITY, Ore. -- The Sams Valley Community Church started Sunday service with a song. Circled around the blue chairs of the sanctuary, members said that there's a lot to be grateful for today. 

"We have some really good, good fire people," said Mary Jane Blome, a 25 year church member. "They're right on it, I'll tell you."

Blome's house overlooks Sams Valley. She said she could see smoke from the East Evans Fire when she stood in her backyard. 

"It was billowing up pretty good," Blome said. "I didn't see any flames, but I could see the smoke."

Karen Beck could see the smoke, too. She even said she saw firefighters dipping into the ponds on her 40 acre piece of land. 

"Those choppers have spent the whole day out there," Beck said. "About every five minutes they come back to the ponds, refill and go back. Even on Friday night, they were up there until almost nine at night."

She's happy the water on her land can help firefighters do their job. 

"We're grateful because we still have homes," Beck said. "And we know how fast those fires can move. 

Most church members know how to prepare for fire season, according to Lee Korner, the Sams Valley Community Church pastor. He added that being a part of the church gives them a community to lean on. 

"Somebody in their life who loves them, somebody in their life who will be there for them, who will sacrifice for them," Korner said. "Everybody needs that, whether there's a fire or not. A fire's just our opportunity."

Members of the church said that fires are just a part of summer now, but they still call the Rogue Valley home. 

"I'm not going anywhere," said Blome. 

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