Santiam Canyon Community Health Impact Assessment

This community health assessment project will examine the needs of the communities affected by the 2020 Labor Day wildfires, and provide recommendations for addressing the ongoing health-related needs of wildfire survivors.

We want to hear from you

Are you a Santiam Canyon resident who was impacted by the 2020 Labor Day wildfires?

We want to hear from you about your experiences and the health-related needs of your communities.

2 ways to participate

There are 2 ways to give us your input. We invite you to participate in both.

An online web-based survey  

The survey is anonymous and should take approximately 8-12 minutes to complete. 

Take Survey


A focus group interview

You can participate in either one of two focus groups, scheduled as follows:

In person
Tuesday, November 2, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Mill City city hall council chambers

Via Zoom
Thursday, November 4, 12:00 noon – 1:15 p.m. 

In appreciation of your time, all participants will receive a $25 Safeway gift card.  

Each focus group is capped at a maximum of 12 people. Therefore, we are asking people to please register in advance.  

To register, or if you have questions, fill out a brief contact form.

Contact form


Project overview

The 2020 Santiam wildfires were devastating to the communities of the Santiam Canyon. They strained the capacities of county and state agencies, local governments, community organizations, nonprofits, and other responding organizations that sought to deliver services and support to the people and businesses that were affected.

This community health assessment project will examine the needs of the affected communities and provide recommendations for addressing the ongoing physical and health needs of wildfire survivors. The project will also identify the lessons learned from this wildfire disaster and recommend strategies for responding to future wildfires and other emergency events.


Overall study questions

For each of the following areas related to health:

  • What needs were created or exacerbated by the Santiam wildfires?
  • How have those needs been addressed by government agencies and local organizations?
  • What needs still exist?
  • Recommendations for how those needs can be best addressed.
Environmental health and physical safety
  • Water quality and access
  • Air quality and respiratory issues
  • Soil quality
  • Exposure to other toxins (i.e., other than those related to water, air, and soil quality)
  • Heat-related illnesses
Food security and adequate healthy eating
  • Availability of affordable and healthy food from commercial sources
  • Impacts on household-based food sources (e.g., hunting, gardening)
  • Stresses on family finances affecting food security
  • Safety of food storage and preparation
Mental and behavioral health; family cohesiveness and security
  • Emotional stress
  • Depression
  • PTSD in parents and/or children
  • Alcohol misuse / Drug use
  • Children’s psychological, emotional, and social adjustment (e.g., school performance)
  • Housing stability; displacement or homelessness
  • Shift from permanent to temporary housing (while remaining on own property)
  • Availability of clean water and stable electricity
  • Economic pressures; market influences on ability to rebuild
  • Injury and physical safety
  • Indoor housing quality
Personal health
  • Disruptions to sleep or regular physical activity
  • Access to medical care, including one’s regular primary care provider and necessary medical procedures for existing conditions
  • Access to medication

Project team

Marc Braverman

Marc Braverman


School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences & Extension Specialist, Family and Community Health

Sandi Cleveland Phibbs

Sandi Cleveland Phibbs

Innovation, Evaluation and Research Manager

OSU Center for Health Innovation & OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences

Amanda Rau

Amanda Rau

Regional Wildland Fire Specialist

Willamette Valley and Cascades Region, Forestry and Natural Resources Extension, OSU College of Forestry

Elijah Penner

Elijah Penner

Graduate student researcher

Master of Public Health program, OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences

If you have questions about this project, or if you are a resident of the Santiam Canyon and would like to share your experience or other information, please email: