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Santiam River
Santiam River near I-5.JPG
Near Interstate 5 in Linn County
Santiamrivermap.png
Map of the Willamette River watershed with the Santiam River highlighted
Country United States
State Oregon
County Linn and Marion
Physical characteristics
Main source confluence of North Santiam and South Santiam rivers
Linn and Marion counties, Oregon
222 ft (68 m)
River mouth Willamette River
between Albany and Salem, Marion County, Willamette Valley, Oregon
164 ft (50 m)
Length 12 mi (19 km)
Discharge
  • Location:
    Jefferson
  • Minimum rate:
    260 cu ft/s (7.4 m3/s)
  • Average rate:
    7,714 cu ft/s (218.4 m3/s)
  • Maximum rate:
    202,000 cu ft/s (5,700 m3/s)
Basin features
Basin size 1,830 sq mi (4,700 km2)

The Santiam River is a tributary of the Willamette River, about 12 miles (19 km) long, in western Oregon in the United States. Through its two principal tributaries, the North Santiam and the South Santiam rivers, it drains a large area of the Cascade Range at the eastern side of the Willamette Valley east of Salem and Corvallis.

The main course of the river is short, formed in the Willamette Valley by the confluence of the North and South Santiam rivers on the border between Linn and Marion counties approximately 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Albany. It flows generally west-northwest in a slow meandering course to join the Willamette from the east approximately 8 miles (13 km) north of Albany.

Both the North and South Santiam rise in high Cascades in eastern Linn County. The Middle Santiam River joins the South Santiam where the South Santiam is impounded to form Foster Lake. The North Santiam is impounded to form the 400-foot (120 m) deep Detroit Lake in the Cascades. The Santiam is a major source of water supply for Salem.

The Great Willamette Flood of 1861, which crested on December 2, destroyed many structures and animals on prairies near its confluence with the Willamette River and south of Knox Butte.

Santiam River Zone is staffed by the Santiam Type 2 initial attack hand crew and two engines based out of the Detroit Ranger District. Additionally the Willamette National Forest has fire crews on the Mckenzie and Middle Fork Ranger Districts.

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