Jean Moule of Scio is the author of a children’s book about the 2020 wildfires.

This is part of a weekly series introducing readers to individuals who are passionate about our Mid-Valley community.

On the morning of Sept. 8, 2020, Jean Moule lay in bed, waiting for first light.

When it didn’t come, she opened her eyes and picked up her phone. It was 8 a.m. She had no cell service.

“I couldn’t figure out why it was still dark outside,” Moule said. “So, I waited and waited. I thought, when it gets light, I’ll go outside.”

Eventually, Moule rose and drove about a mile down the road searching for a cell signal. That’s when she learned that a fast-moving wildfire was nearing her home of four decades in the Santiam Canyon.

“There were sheriffs going up the road, knocking on the doors telling people to evacuate,” she said. “They just hadn’t got to my road yet.”

Moule’s experience that day was the inspiration for her new book, “Canyon Survival: Escape out of the Flames,” which opens with a similar story.  

Jean Moule, at home in Scio, said her experience during the 2020 Labor Day wildfires was her inspiration for "Canyon Survival: Escape out of the Flames."

Like her book’s main character, Moule returned home and gathered up a litter of kittens, as well as some mementos, before fleeing. Moule spent nearly a week at her son’s house in Portland before returning to find her home still standing.

In the book, though, the heroine also flees with two llamas and four children. Instead of quickly reaching safety, the group must test their survival skills.

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