Emergency crews responding to several large wildfires in Oregon, US, as of Oct. 3. Some evacuations, transport disruptions ongoing. 

Alert Begins 03 Oct 2020 01:46 PM UTC
Alert Expires 06 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

 

  • Incident: Multiple wildfires
  • Location(s): Oregon (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations, ground transport disruptions; possible power outages

 

Summary
Emergency crews continue working to contain several wildfires burning in different parts of Oregon as of Oct. 3. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued a statewide state of emergency due to the threat of wildfires. Several counties, including Marion and Clackamas, have declared their own local states of emergency. Tens of thousands of residents across Oregon were forced to evacuate in recent weeks; however, many evacuation orders have since been lifted.

Firefighters have made significant progress in containing the fires due to rounds of rainstorms in previous weeks; however, forecast models indicate a hot and dry weather pattern will set in through at least Oct. 10. This will likely lead to increased potential for fire growth over the coming weeks.

Currently, many fires are burning across Oregon, but the most notable are Archie Creek, Beachie Creek, Lionshead, Riverside, and Slater/Devil. These fires have prompted several evacuation orders across the state.

Additionally, authorities have closed Mount Hood National Forest to the public until further notice. Authorities could expand or rescind mandatory evacuation orders depending on evolving wildfire conditions.

Archie Creek
The Archie Creek Fire is burning in the North Umpqua corridor and is approximately 34 km (21 miles) east of Roseburg. The fire is 53,233 hectares (131,542 acres) and is 81-percent contained as of Oct. 3. At least 672 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. Some level 1 evacuation warnings and transport disruptions remain in effect and can be found here.

Beachie Creek
The Beachie Creek Fire is burning in the Opal Creek Wilderness and is approximately 24 km (15 miles) east of Salem. The fire is 78,056 hectares (192,881 acres) and is 59-percent contained, as of Oct. 3. At least 395 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. Some evacuation warnings remain in effect and can be found here.

Lionshead
The Lionshead Fire is burning in the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation and is approximately 73 km (45 miles) east of Salem. The fire is 82,703 hectares (204,367 acres) and is 35-percent contained, as of Oct. 3. At least 1,224 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. Some evacuation warnings and transport disruptions remain in effect and can be found here.

Riverside
The Riverside Fire is burning in Clackamas County, approximately 43 km (27 miles) southeast of Portland. The fire is 55,881 hectares (138,085 acres) and is 54-percent contained, as of Oct. 3. At least 440 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. Some evacuation warnings and transport disruptions remain in effect and can be found here.

Slater/Devil
The Slater/Devil fires are burning approximately 65 km (40 miles) southwest of Medford, along the California-Oregon border. The fires are a combined 62,563 hectares (154,597 acres) and are 51-percent contained, as of Oct. 3. At least 1,031 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. Some evacuation warnings and transport disruptions remain in effect and can be found here.

Transport
Depending on the progression of the wildfires, the status of roads near wildfires could change over the coming hours and days; authorities could close routes near the wildfires and evacuate more communities due to fire activity and the needs of response operators. Traffic flows could also be disrupted during re-entry periods after authorities lift evacuation orders. Low visibility from smoke and possible ashfall could contribute to traffic delays and congestion in the region.

 

Advice
Heed all evacuation orders. Seek updated information on road conditions if driving in the affected area; road closures and detours will cause increased congestion and delays. Collect essential items - including identification and any important legal and travel documents - in a "go-bag" that can be easily accessed. Charge battery-powered devices in the case of prolonged power outages.

Individuals not under evacuation warnings should consider remaining inside well-ventilated, air-conditioned spaces to reduce exposure to smoke. Individuals with chronic respiratory illnesses may be more susceptible to the negative effects of smoke inhalation. Eye irritation is possible; flush irritated eyes with copious amounts of clean water.

 

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