The Kah-Nee-Ta tribal casino in Warm Springs, Oregon, evacuated around 500 guests and staff Friday as a precaution, and stayed closed through the weekend. The County Line 2 fire, currently one of the largest in the U.S., has already burned over 55,000 acres on the reservation alone.
Two hundred additional firefighters were brought in over the weekend, and currently a crew of nearly eight hundred firefighters continue their work to control the flames, but local residents remain on edge.
The Oregonian reports that residents in the area have been soaking their lawns with garden hoses in a proactive effort to protect their homes, while others admit how hard it is to sleep deeply at night. Caroline Cruz, a tribal health and human service liaison, admits that residents of the impoverished area are drained emotionally. “This is our home, these are our people, and you don’t abandon your people,” she said.
Fortunately, calmer winds and slightly cooler weather have lessened the threat to the resort, allowing the camping areas, golf course, and swimming pools to reopen. But the area remains hazy with smoke, and the highway views are of scorched landscape.