Cochran, OR Forest Fire, Oct 1932

Forest Fire Burns Town After 200 Inhabitants of Village Flee to Safety.


Cochran Is Destroyed by Blaze Which Surrounds It on All Sides

Twenty-five Men, Trapped In Woods, Are Reported Safe Today

PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 4.--(AP)--The town of Cochran in the Coast mountain timber country was destroyed by forest fire today after having been surrounded on all sides by roaring flames. All residents of the town, amounting to two hundred or more, were rushed through fire lines to safety during the night. Some were able to save household goods.


They raced with the flames as evacuating caravans pushed through the smoke to a haven beyond the swirling, blasting heat.

Property damage from the fire which started last week, today had amounted to more than $1,500,000, officials estimated. One man met death and two towns have been burned to ashes. Twenty-five men who were surrounded by the fire last night escaped safely today, making their way to an old burned spot, swept earlier by flames. They had been unaccounted for more than twenty-four hours.

E. H. White was one of the last persons to leave Cochran. From a vantage point in a high room of the C. H. Wheeler Logging Company store he telephoned to Portland details of the conflagration.

"This is the last report you will get from me." he said, "as the roof of the store in which I am talking is burning and the fire is spreading fast. In a few moments I will have to leave.


"The cook here is feeding seventy-five fire fighters now. They are so hungry they are wolfing the beans and bread, hurrying to get their eating done before fire drives them out. The roof of the cook house is in flames."

Fire today destroyed the Southern Pacific depot at Enright and the Westwood Lumber Company plant at Edwards.

A $100,000 Southern Pacific bridge was burned last night, and three tunnels on the line were burned out and another was expected to be destroyed.


The town and mill camp at Edwards were burned to the ground late yesterday and the fire was burning in the community of Enright today. A logger named Starr was killed yesterday when a tree fell on him in the Blue Lake district.

The only death reported from the most disastrous forest fire in year was that of a logger killed yesterday by a falling tree. Residents of Cochran, warned of the hopelessness of attempting to save their homes, fled during the night, taking whatever household goods they could carry.

About seventy-five fire-fighters remained in the district until this morning.

From other sections of Western Oregon, widely scattered, there came reports of fires, less serious, but holding much potential danger. A warm east wind, drying all foliage and grass coupled with unseasonably hot October weather, presented a menace the extent of which could not be determined.

The air was smoke-filled. Monday's temperature was the highest October 3 in the history of the Portland weather bureau, with a maximum of eighty-six degrees.

The Knuth postoffice, store and service station at Weyth, fourteen miles west of Hood river on the Columbia highway, were engulfed by flames from a serious fire today. Before the fire could be brought under control the wind freshened and the situation was regarded gravely, with the prospect that a considerable stretch of the scenic highway would be blackened.

Reno Evening Gazette, Reno, NV 4 Oct 1932