Warning Alert

Emergency crews responding to several large wildfires in Oregon, US, as of Sept. 29. Some evacuations, transport disruptions ongoing. 

Alert Begins 29 Sep 2020 04:29 PM UTC
Alert Expires 03 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 Sept. 29. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued a statewide state of emergency due to further threat of wildfires. Several counties, including Marion and Clackamas, have declared their own local states of emergency. At least 40,000 residents across Oregon were forced to evacuate; however, many evacuation orders have since been lifted. Firefighters have made significant progress in containing the fires due to rounds of rainstorms over the previous weeks; however, forecast models indicate a hot and dry weather pattern will set in through at least Oct. 8. This will likely lead to increased potential for fire growth over the coming weeks.

Currently, many fires are burning across Oregon, but the most impactful are Archie Creek, Beachie Creek, Holiday Farm, Lionshead, Riverside, South Obenchain, 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 72-percent contained as of early Sept. 29. At least 863 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. Some 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 78,042 hectares (192,848 acres) and is 58-percent contained, as of Sept. 29. At least 579 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. At least 606 residents from Clackamas, Linn, and Marion counties have been evacuated; some evacuation warnings remain in effect and can be found here.

Holiday Farm
The Holiday Farm Fire is burning in the Willamette National Forest and is approximately 29 km (18 miles) east of Eugene. The fire is 70,048 hectares (173,094 acres) and is 60-percent contained, as of Sept. 29. At least 650 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. All evacuation orders in the vicinity of the fire have been lifted; additional details about the fire's spread and potential transport disruptions 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 82,699 hectares (204,355 acres) and is 34-percent contained, as of Sept. 29. At least 1,334 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. Evacuation orders in Detroit, Idanha, and New Idanha have been reduced; however, 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 55,858 hectares (138,029 acres) and is 37-percent contained, as of Sept. 29. At least 526 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. Some evacuation warnings and transport disruptions remain in effect and can be found here.

South Obenchain
The South Obenchain Fire is burning in Jackson County approximately 21 km (14 miles) north-northeast of Portland. The fire is 13,221 hectares (32,671 acres) and is 96-percent contained, as of Sept. 29. At least 380 personnel are currently on-site battling the blaze. All evacuation advisories have been lifted, except for a Level 1 advisory at the eastern end of the fire area. Officials estimate the fire will be contained by Sept. 30. Further information about ongoing transport disruptions and evacuations 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 62,394 hectares (154,180 acres) and are 40-percent contained, as of Sept. 29. At least 1,170 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 nearby roads could change over the coming hours and days; authorities could close additional 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.

Health
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.

 

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. Individuals not under evacuation warnings should consider remaining inside well-ventilated, air-conditioned spaces to reduce exposure to smoke. 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.

 

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