OAKRIDGE, OR -- The Cedar Creek Fire jumped containment lines during high winds, this weekend, and is back to zero percent containment. As of Monday morning, its estimated at 86,734 acres.
Friday night, the towns of Oakridge and Westfir were given Level Three (GO NOW) evacuation orders; they were reduced to Level two on Sunday. Lane County Sheriff Cliff Harold says other areas remain at Level Three, "That’s that High Prairie, McFarland Rd area, as well as Dunning, Fish Hatchery and on down to a chunk of Highway 58. Those need to stay in a three because the fire, frankly, is not that far away from those spaces." Sheriff Harold says it’s important everyone in the Level Two areas remain ready to leave again, The reality is, the fire is going to be out there for a little while and no one can guarantee that we won’t have to go back to a Level Three."
Governor Kate Brown declared the Cedar Creek Fire a conflagration, clearing the way for more resources. Kale Casey is on the Deschutes side of the fire with an incident management team from Alaska. He says more crews are already in the area, "Because of the significant fire growth, a second incident management team was brought in in unified command with Northwest Team 6, who’s working out of Oakridge. The Alaska team was prepositioned in Redmond, OR and it only took a few hours to mobilize, and is now setting up their command post at Mt. Bachelor Ski Area." He adds, "While we have the winds calmed down, all areas of the fire are able to be more aggressive. The resources have been coming in from as far away as Louisiana, Hawaii, the southeast and Alaska, of course, where we are from. There’s a strike team of five engines that were on a barge from Anchorage to Seattle that had worked another fire in the area that have arrived."
With multiple fires burning in Oregon and central Idaho, Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality issued Air Quality Advisories over the weekend for Deschutes, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and eastern Lane counties. "This type of 2.5 particulate matter smoke, this thick wildfire smoke, is very hard on your lungs," says Casey, "Please, reduce your exertion, especially if you’re pregnant, if you have cardiac or respiratory issues. The smoke will remain around for quite a while. The wind that will be needed to blow it out of the area would also increase fire activity. So, this is just one of those times where you have to take care of yourselves, take care of others." DEQ says the agency is monitoring the situation and may lift some advisories Monday afternoon. You can check air quality for your home HERE.
Highway 58 remains closed between Oakridge and Crescent Lake.