BUTTE FALLS, Ore-- It was a cool and rainy Saturday morning, with the people of Butte Falls getting ready to show their support to the firefighters, first responders and other organizations that helped battle the South Obenchain Fire.
The event was small but still packed a lot of noise and raised a lot of spirits on the cold and damp day.
The event was a motorcade.
"It always seems like it takes devastation to bring people together," said Chery Stritenberg, who is a local to the area and helped create the event. "These small towns I have seen pull together like no other."
The cities of Butte Falls and Shady Cove together decided to host the motorcade this morning, to show how much appreciated the work that was done on the South Obench Fire that put both cities at risk of being destroyed.
"There just isn't enough appreciation for what they do," said Stritenberg. "They risk their lives every day. We really want to let them know that there are people that sincerely care about them."
The idea for the motorcade began about three weeks ago when people created the South Obenchain Fire Hero Celebration page and wanted to show their support. But with only a limited amount of time to get the event prepared, Stritenberg had to move quickly and was able to get Oregon Department of Forestry, the National Guard, logging trucks, water trucks and Obenchain Militia to join the motorcade.
"I know we got this done in three weeks, but it should have taken six months, said Stritenberg jokingly.
Around 10 Saturday morning, the mayors of both cities began the event by acknowledging all of the work that crews did on the fire. And around 10:10, that's when the fun really began.
Lights and horns began to sound from the building of the fire house in Butte Falls, with fire truck after fire truck leading the way to start the motorcade. People began to cheer, wave their flags and signs and yell thank you to all of the people who helped stop the fire from reaching their town.
"It's amazing what people can do when we pull together," said Stritenberg. "I've really seen a lot from these small towns. There is nothing that we can't accomplish if we stay united."
The motorcade from both cities made their way to the opposite city(Butte Falls to Shady Cove, Shady Cove to Butte Falls) before finally making their way back and returning home.
"I think this is something that we would like to carry forward," said Stritenberg. "We want to be able to celebrate heroes yearly and celebrate it."