An Oregon family’s camping trip took a terrifying turn when their car ran out of gas as they fled from a raging wildfire.
Allison Hargett, her husband Tyler and their six-year-old daughter Lilly drove up from their home in Gladstone to Detroit Lake State Park, south of Salem, on Labor Day to go boating.
Hours after they settled in for the night, the family was awoken by evacuation orders at about 1am on Tuesday as the Beachie Creek Fire encroached on their campgrounds, filling the air with smoke.
The Hargett family quickly hitched up their boat and packed up their car to drive to safety, following behind their friends, Tim and Adamma Dye.
As they made the trek out of the evacuation zone, Allison filmed several videos from the car which showed the forest enveloped by an eerie orange glow as flames consumed dozens of trees and embers cascaded from the sky.
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Allison Hargett, her husband Tyler and their six-year-old daughter Lilly (pictured together) were camping at Detroit Lake State Park when wildfire forced them to evacuate on Tuesday
Allison filmed several videos from the car as her family fled to safety in the middle of the night
The videos showed the forest enveloped by an eerie orange glow as flames consumed dozens of trees and embers cascaded from the sky
In one of the videos, Lilly is heard asking whether they’re going to be okay. Allison assures her daughter that they will.
But moments later, the family’s car ran out of gas outside Mill City, trapping them in the Marion County evacuation zone.
Thankfully, they weren’t alone on the road.
‘[Our friends] were in front of us and saw that we pulled over and turned around, tossed their stuff in the back seat and told us to get in and let’s go,’ Allison told CNN on Tuesday.
Despite being forced to leave behind their boat, car and much of their gear to fit into their friends’ vehicle, Allison said her family was grateful to have made it to safety.
‘We completely ran out of gas and would’ve been stranded. They saved us,’ she said.
The group made it to safety, but they have no idea when they’ll be able to return to check on whether the boat and car survived the fire.
‘We are also devastated to lose our vehicle and boat … but we are okay at least,’ Allison said.
In one of the videos, Lilly is heard asking whether they’re going to be okay, and Allison assures her that they will. But moments later, the family’s car ran out of gas, leaving them stranded
The Hargett family managed to get to safety by piling into their friends’ car. ‘We would’ve been stranded. They saved us,’ Allison told CNN
The Beachie Creek Fire ignited on August 16 and has since torched more than 130,000 acres, according to local officials. It remains zero percent contained and is traveling at a rate of three acres per hour.
High winds, dry conditions and a heatwave in the drought-stricken region helped fuel the fire over the weekend, prompting evacuations for several cities in Marion County, which includes Detroit Lake State Park.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office released video of multiple structures on fire in Mill City on Wednesday night, hours after the Hargett family and their friends left the area.
Neighboring Clackamas County declared a state of emergency on Tuesday as four active fires – including Beachie Creek – put several communities under threat.
There are currently seven active fires across the state of Oregon – along with 12 fires to the north in Washington and 25 fires to the south in California.
Law enforcement officials organize evacuations in Leaburg, Oregon, on Tuesday