Oregon environmentalist’s remains found after Beachie Creek Fire destroyed his home
The remains of missing environmentalist George Atiyeh were found after the Beachie Creek Fire consumed his property and the area around his home, his daughter confirmed on Facebook Friday.
Atiyeh, 72, was last seen on September 7 before the Beachie Creek Fire exploded during overnight hours in the area where his home was located.
“The Atiyeh family has received confirmation from the Marion County Sheriff’s office, that the remains found on George Atiyeh’s property, was in fact him,” Aniese Mitchell, Atiyeh’s daughter, posted on Facebook late Friday night.
Mitchell thanked friends, family and the community for their support during this time and asked that any donations made in her father’s honor be directed to Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center.
The Beachie Creek Fire began August 16 in the Opal Creek Wilderness, about 2 miles south of Jawbone Flats and 6 miles north of Detroit, Oregon, according to the US Forest Service’s InciWeb system.
A windstorm September 7 transformed the fire overnight from 469 acres to more than 131,000 acres.
As of Saturday, the fire has burned more than 192,000 acres and is 52% contained. it is expected to be fully contained by October 31, the InciWeb system said.
The Opal Creek Wilderness is a 20,000-acre refuge of steep and rugged forested hillsides boasting Douglas fir trees, creeks, mountain peaks and lookouts, according to the Forest Service.
The wilderness refuge was protected by federal legislation in 1996 after activists, including Atiyeh, pushed back against plans to open the area for logging.