BEACHIE CREEK FIRE UPDATE – September 23, 2020
Acres: 192,828 acres Percent Containment: 46%
Start Date: August 16, 2020 Cause: Under Investigation
Origin Location: Opal Creek Wilderness: Fuels: Timber and logging slash
two miles south of Jawbone Flats, Resources: 800
six miles north of Detroit, Oregon. Flights: Temporary Flight Restriction
Very little growth on Beachie Creek fire
Firefighters and public to watch for falling trees Wednesday
Salem, Ore. – A strong cold front pushes over the Willamette Valley Wednesday bringing sustained winds of 20 miles per hour and gusts as high as 45. The fire has had minimal growth, and little is expected. The bigger concern today is wind that could blow down weakened and burned trees or cause large limbs to drop. The Incident Management Team encourages residents to look up and around and be aware of these hazards.
Heavy rain arrives late Wednesday and into Thursday. It will assist in the firefighting effort; however, additional moisture could cause rock and mudslides in steep slopes. On the north side of the fire, there is a hard closure through the Molalla River area where falling debris is likely after the severe burn there. There will be a temporary gate installed on the Molalla road this morning near Trout Creek road to help restrict public access into the fire area. In Butte Creek and well within the perimeter, the fire is creeping down a slope and sheltered from the wind. On the western fire edge, a timber company is contracted to use heavy equipment to clear vegetation and build a 20-mile control line in Abiqua Creek. There is a secondary control line in place to protect the Silver Falls area. The north and western edges are secure.
Along the Highway 22 corridor, 115 Canadian firefighters and 18 engines are making great progress building fire line and destroying hot spots and smoldering tree stumps from Lyons, Mill City, and to Gates. Firefighters are mitigating hazards north of Gates in the Elk Horn / North Fork areas which remain closed. South of Highway 22, crews improved defensible space in the Rock Creek area. Throughout the fire perimeter, there is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TRF) which was violated Tuesday by two aircraft and a paraglider. Firefighting aircraft are grounded when the public violates the TFR.
The Incident Management Team prepared for today’s weather system. It will not be like the Labor Day event. The Marion and Linn County Sherriff Offices continue to evaluate and lower evacuation levels but are asking residents to stay connected with their websites and alerts:
The Willamette National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, and State lands around the fire remain closed to the public. Go to InciWeb.gov for more information about closures in the area.