Your Safety is Paramount: Continued Rapid Fire Growth Expected

Posted on September 9, 2020

Springfield, OR, Sept. 8, 2020 – Continued rapid fire growth is expected tonight as the Red Flag Warning for low humidities and strong east winds remains in effect. The highest priority is your safety. Many towns in and around the western slopes of the Cascades near Forest lands remain under Level 3 – Go Evacuations being implemented by County Sheriff’s Offices. Please be aware of notifications and advisories being issued by local authorities, and check back often for updates on fire activity and how it may potentially impact you.

Opportunities for firefighters to make assessments of the status of current fires on the Willamette National Forest were limited today due to active fire behavior. Using sound risk management practices, firefighters will continue to conduct assessments and take suppression actions on fires where it is safe to do so.

Based on the latest heat signatures, Beachie Creek Fire is now estimated to be over 100,000 acres in size, with 0% containment. Further growth along the fire’s perimeter with east winds pushing the fire to the southwest is expected again tonight. The Incident Command Post for Northwest Incident Management Team 13 has been re-established in Salem.

As of noon today, the Holiday Farm Fire located along Oregon Route 126 had traveled from milepost 47, where it was first reported last night, to Vida Fire Station, an estimated distance of 20 miles. Observed fire behavior included twelve-foot flames and long range spotting up to a mile and a half away. The fire, which is 0% contained, is established on the ridgelines of both sides of the highway. An approximate size of the fire is not currently available. Presently, it is not safe to conduct thorough assessments of any damage the fire may have caused. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Warner Fire, which started last night on the Middle Fork Ranger District, is estimated to be five acres. The fire is located ¾ mile east of McCredie Day Use Area. Despite having the fire mostly lined, fire managers feel the influence of tonight’s weather conditions on it could prove challenging.

Moderate to heavy smoke impacts from the fires are expected to continue along the western slopes of the Cascades and into the Willamette Valley. Stay informed on air quality ratings and more by visiting the Oregon Smoke Blog at http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/. Learn how to stay safe from wildfire smoke at https://www.cdc.gov/air/wildfire-smoke/default.htm.

The Red Flag Warning for the persistence of critical fire weather on the heels of this historic September event with low humidity and east winds of 15 to 30 mph and gusts up to 50 mph remains in effect until 8pm tomorrow. Conditions during this time will remain favorable for continued rapid fire spread.

All recreation offerings across the Willamette National Forest are currently closed including campgrounds, day use areas, trails, boat ramps and more. Forest Service roads are closed to the public across the Willamette National Forest unless you are vacating the Forest.

Evacuations are managed by local emergency officials. You are encouraged to check with local emergency officials for the latest information on evacuations.

– Marion County https://www.facebook.com/MCSOInTheKnow

– Lane County https://www.facebook.com/LaneCountyGovernment

Visit https://www.tripcheck.com/ for the latest road and weather condition updates.

Additional fire information is available on Inciweb:

– Beachie Creek Fire https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7001/

– Lionshead Fire https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7049/

Please call 911 to report any signs of new fires.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @WillametteNF.

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