Local News


Santiam Fire Update for Wednesday September 9, 2020 

 

Keizer, Ore. – Wildland firefighters, working on the Beachie Creek Fire, were forced to evacuate their encampment in Gates, Ore. after several electrical lines and transformers were destroyed in an extreme wind event which began on Monday afternoon. Pacific Team Northwest 13 is currently headquartered at Chemeketa Community College in Salem. 

 

Originally listed at 469 acres, the fire has grown overnight to over 131,000 acres driven by high winds and extremely dry fuels. Originally named the Beachie Creek fire, it has been renamed the Santiam Fire acknowledging that the Beachie Creek Fire no longer was the main cause of rapid fire growth and was instead fed by a series of small fires largely caused by downed power lines and other ignition sources throughout the area. 

 

WEATHER: A Red Flag Warning for strong winds will be in effect today through 8:00 p.m. Wednesday. Wind gusts are likely to reach between 30-40 mph with 50-60 mph gusts likely on exposed ridges. The wind may ease Tuesday night and into Wednesday. Fire conditions are expected to improve later in the week. 

 

SAFETY: Members of the public are encourage to heed local evacuation orders issued by the county sheriff’s office and emergency notification systems. Any public trying to access the area are asked to stay away to keep roads clear for those evacuating and for emergency vehicles. The roads are extremely hazardous due to falling debris, smoke and heavy traffic. Members of the public in the immediate area are asked to keep the Ready, Set, Go levels of evacuation in mind. READY your belongings; SET your things at the door or prepack them in your car; GO Leave immediately. 

 

SMOKE: Smoke is expected to remain heavy throughout the area for the next several days. Individuals with respiratory issues may find themselves affected by the intense smoke. Smoke levels are fluctuating between unhealthy for sensitive groups (orange) and hazardous (maroon) in these areas. Areas closest to fires - near Detroit, Florence, Chiloquin and Eugene 

- are having the worst smoke impacts. Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current conditions on DEQ's Air Quality Index or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone. 

 

CLOSURES: Willamette National Forest roads, trails, and lands around the fire area are closed. View the official order (Order 06-18-04-20-13) or go to InciWeb (link below) for a list and map of the closed roads, trails, and recreation sites. 

 

Public information: 

Facebook: facebook.com/santiamfire2020 

E-mail: Santiamfire2020@gmail.com Phone: 541-583-0526, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Inciweb 

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7001/ 

 

Oregon Smoke Blog http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/p/air-quality-now.html 

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