(Update: Oakridge, Westfir evacuated, Hwy 58 closure extended)
OAKRIDGE, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Oakridge and Westfir areas were evacuated Friday evening and a closure of Highway 58 was extended 65 miles in the face of the Cedar Creek Fire as forecast windy conditions also sparked other wildfires in the northwest which also forced people to flee their homes.
“Do NOT take the time to put things together. GO NOW ! The Lane County Sheriff’s Office said in its 7:15 p.m. Facebook update, after warning area residents hours earlier in a Level 2 “Be Prepared” alert that the danger was increasing.
ODOT has widened its closure of Highway 58 from mile post 5, one mile east of Pleasant Hill in the west to mile post 70 in Crescent Lake in the east. Evacuees were instructed to proceed west on Highway 58 to the temporary evacuation point at Lane Community College, Building 16, and travelers were advised to avoid the area and take alternate routes.
Another fire caused some South Salem residents to evacuate on Friday night, KPTV reported, and there was also level 3 “Go!” Evacuation orders for the Kalama Fire in Cowlitz County, Wash., after Gifford Pinchot National Forest officials said a blaze grew from four acres to 80 acres overnight.
In Washington County, west of Portland, two fires broke out near Lake Hagg and were brought under control, but sheriff’s deputies said the high winds mean a Level 2 evacuation notice remains in place on SW Stepien Road, with residents asked to leave if possible.
The Oregon Forest Department said a statewide task force established earlier this week is working with multiple structure protection strike teams focused on protecting Oakridge and other private land nearby.
“The task force is currently scouting access points and planning their attack in case easterly winds push the fire off federal lands and onto private lands,” a press release said Friday. evening.
Elsewhere, the Oregon State Lands Department has closed the Elliott State Forest and South Slough National Estuary Research Preserve to the public due to extreme fire danger. .
The evacuation map is at: https://lcgisorg.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=fffd5cd4131d40bc885331fe3c905283
Governor Kate Brown invokes emergency conflagration law in response to Cedar Creek fire
Cedar Creek Fire burns 33,100 acres in Lane and Deschutes counties
(Portland, OR) – Governor Kate Brown this afternoon invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act as a preventative measure in response to the Cedar Creek Fire in the National Forest east of the community of ‘Oakridge in Lane County. This statement allows the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to mobilize resources to help local Lane County Fire Departments implement their plan to protect lives, homes and critical infrastructure. Fire activity increased significantly due to weather conditions and the blaze was estimated at 33,100 acres as of Friday morning. The Lane County Sheriff’s Office has issued evacuation orders for areas near the fire.
“The Cedar Creek Fire spread rapidly to communities across Oregon this morning, and the potential for fire growth in the coming days is unsettling, requiring additional resources to fight the fire and support the state response,” Governor Brown said. “It’s a good reminder that conditions can change quickly and the fire knows no bounds. With the weather forecast for this week and the many fires in wild areas near communities, it’s important that all residents of Oregon be prepared. Follow all evacuation orders and continue to follow local and state fire regulations to keep our communities safe and our natural resources protected.”
In accordance with ORS 476.510-476.610, Governor Brown has determined that there is a threat to life, safety and property due to the fire, and that the threat is beyond the firefighting capabilities of personnel and local fire fighting equipment. The governor’s statement paved the way for the state fire marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources in the fight against the fire and further support a coordinated response.
The Cedar Creek fire has been burning in the desert for a month. Local fire departments have increased their numbers and plan to protect life and structures in surrounding communities. The Oregon State Fire Marshal has been engaged with the Fire Defense Council Chief to determine fire response needs. This statement paves the way for additional resources to meet the support of local fire departments. OSFM will continuously assess response needs based on weather forecasts and fire conditions and call in additional task forces through the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) .
Information on forest fire prevention and preparedness can be found at:
Earlier Friday, the Deschutes National Forest expanded the temporary emergency closure area put in place due to increased fire activity on the Cedar Creek Fire, which has now surpassed 33,000 acres.
The Cedar Creek Fire is currently burning about 20 miles west of La Pine. For the safety of the public and firefighters, the Bend-Fort Rock and Crescent Ranger Districts of the Deschutes National Forest will temporarily close all roads, trailheads and Forest Service-operated trails as part of the temporary closure. Cedar Creek Fire (#06-01-22-03) area (See attached map). This closure will remain in place until revoked.
The following are closed under the Cedar Creek Temporary Fire Shutdown Order (Closure #06-01-22-03) –
Starting points –
• Starting point of the Blue Lagoon
• Charlton Lake trailhead
• Corral Swamp Trail
• Deer Lake trailhead
• Elk Lake trailhead
• Irish and taylor trail
• Lemish Lake trailhead
• Starting point of Lucky Lake
• Many Lakes Trail
• Moore Creek trailhead
• Sisters-Mirror Lake trailhead
• Starting point of the Six Lakes trail
• Lake Winopee trailhead
Campgrounds and recreation sites —
• Big Cove Boat-In Campground
• Browns Crossing Wildlife Viewing
• Browns Mountain Paddling
• Cow Meadow Campground
• Crane Prairie Campground and Day Use Area
• Cultus Corral Horse Camp
• Cultus Lake Campground and Day Use Area
• Cultus Lake Picnic Area
• Deschutes Bridge
• Lava Lake Campground and Day Use Area
• Little Cove Boat-In Campground
• Little Cultus Campground and Boat Launch
• Little Lava Lake Campground and Day Use Area
• Day use of Mile Camp
• North Davis Creek Campground and Boat Launch
• Osprey Point Interpretive Trail
• Quinn River Campground and Day Use
• Rock Creek Campground and Day Use
• West Cultus Boat-In Campground
This closure also specifically closes the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from Highway 58 north to the intersection with Wickiup Plains Trail #12.2. Long distance hikers can join the PCT at the Devils Lake/Wickiup Plains trailhead. Visit the pcta.org for current information on closures.
The Cedar Creek Fire was caused by a reported lightning strike Aug. 1 and is burning in the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests. The fire now covers 33,099 acres and is 12% contained. The fire is currently being managed by Northwest Incident Management Team 6 on the west side and Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team 1 on the east side. For more information on the Cedar Creek Fire, please visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8307/.
Cedar Creek Fire Update – August 9, 2022
Cut: 33,099 acres
Start date: August 1, 2022
Location: 15 miles east of Oakridge, OR
Total workforce: 862
Resources: 27 engines
31 heavy equipment
Lane Electric Cooperative will implement a public power safety shutdown from 5 p.m. on Friday, September 9 until the evening of Sunday, September 11. This outage will affect nearly all members, with downtown Oakridge, Lowell and Veneta remaining powered to provide key services. Call or visit 541-484-1151 Electric way for updates or changes.
Current situation : East winds, low humidity and high temperatures will keep the fire active today. The highest activity will occur where lichen is present in the trees and where there is a high concentration of down wood. Where the winds align on the slopes, canopy fires and fire patches are to be expected. Last night reconnaissances were carried out at high points to assess the growth of the fire, but smoke limited visibility. The fire was spotted on the Winchester Trail to the north. Team 1 from Alaska joined Team 6 from the Northwest to manage the east side of the fire. This brought key middle managers onto the fire and allowed firefighters to have shorter drive times to the east side of the fire.
Activities today: With critical fire weather conditions expected today, operations managers will continuously assess fire growth and focus on strategic placement of firefighters in anticipation of changing conditions throughout the day. Firefighters are working on the fire line from northern Waldo Lake to Charlton Lake connecting to Forest Service Road 4290 to prevent the fire from continuing to move south. On Forest Service Road 2421, firefighters will watch for spot fires and keep the fire on the road. Crews will engage spot fires north of the Winchester Trail attempting to extinguish them if safe to do so. Firefighters are also coordinating with the Middle Fork District Ranger and the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s representative from Lane County to provide initial attack support to any new fire starts that may occur.
Time: A RED FLAG warning is in effect today through at least Saturday for warm, dry and windy conditions. East wind speeds are expected to be 15-25 with gusts up to 50 mph on the ridges. Towards the afternoon, the valley will become windy. Low humidity levels overnight will allow for an extended burn window.