A motorist on Yaquina Bay Road, driving by Loon Island, reported to 9-1-1 that she saw smoke coming from the residence on the island. Fire department and Coast Guard are trying to figure out how to get to the residence.
Newport Assistant Fire Chief Rob Murphy said a Sheriff’s river patrol boat ascertained that the fire was a small debris fire being attended by the resident of the island. Although the smoke was wafting up in a way that looked like a fire may be burning in the home’s attic area, Murphy said the smoke was coming from the fire on the porch on the north side of the home. From the pictures it can also be seen that the resident was with the fire, sweeping around it and watching it very closely.
Murphy said the home is thoroughly unprotected from regular fire departments. Another fire agency on scene said there is access to the home during low tides from South Bay Road, but otherwise if there was a fire, it would likely have to be fought by bringing a water pump over in a boat with firefighters using the water to hose down whatever may still be burning. Response time would be quite long. One fire fighter said the worst insurance fire rating for an unprotected rural home is a 10. “This one would be more like an 11,” he quipped.