The Cedar Creek Fire has grown to 51,814 acres as of the morning of Sept. 10 and is 15 miles outside Oakridge, according to the U.S Forest Service daily update. Level 3 — go now — evacuation orders were issued for Oakridge and surrounding areas on Friday evening.
Skies turned grey and orange, and ash fell on cars and trees in Pleasant Hill and even into Eugene, an ominous reminder of the similar 2020 Labor Day fires.
According the the Forest Service morning update: “The fire has not crossed west of Highway 19; firefighters are working to hold and improve the east side. Spot fires crossed south of Highway 58 at Kitson Ridge. Firefighters are working to keep the fire north of Forest Road 1928.”
And like the 2020 fires, Cedar Creek is not the only area in flames. A fire south of Salem led to evacuation orders Friday night, and another fire is burning near Milo McIver State Park in Clackamas. This is in addition to the Rum Creek Fire northwest of Grants Pass and other fires around the West. The fires are also a grim reminder of the ongoing effects of climate change.
The Cedar Creek conflagration was 33, 099 acres only 24 hours earlier, but blew up — and toward the cities of Oakridge and Westfir — due to east winds, low humidity and high temperatures that will continue on Saturday.
Highway 58, the main thoroughfare in and out of the area, is closed at mileposts 13.2 (Lowell) and 70, according to TripCheck.com.
Those who have evacuated cannot return to the area but a press release from Lane County says If you had to leave livestock or other animals behind, you can request feeding and care assistance from Lane County Animal Services. Call 541-285-8227 or fill out the form at .LaneCountyOR.gov/CedarCreek in the “Animal Evacuation & Sheltering” section.
Those who need assistance evacuating can call 541-682-2977. Those who have evacuated are asked to fill out this form so the county can asses and provide services.
Lane Community College (4000 E. 30th Avenue, Eugene) Building 16 serving as a temporary evacuation point and the Red Cross announced it has opened a shelter at the Lane Events Center.
Livestock with no other shelter options are evacuating to the Lane County Events Center, which is requesting experienced help and donations of feed for the animals. For more information on large animal shelter go here. To volunteer or donate go to the events center at 796 W. 13 Avenue in Eugene.
For more information on horses and wildfire smoke, read what veterinarians has to say during the 2020 wildfires in this Eugene Weekly story.
Small animals with no other shelter options can contact Greenhill Humane Society at 541-689-1503.
The USFS update says that there are 862 personnel working on the fire, with 29 engines,19 crews, 46 heavy equipment and eight helicopters.
The report says, “Today’s fire activity is expected to be extreme with long-range spotting and crown runs. Expect a large smoke column to develop by mid-morning.”
More resources below.
Weather: A RED FLAG Warning is in effect today due to hot, dry, and windy conditions. East winds will continue today and switch to westerly winds tomorrow. Toward the afternoon the valley will become windy. Poor humidity levels overnight will allow for an extended burn window.
Closures: The Deschutes National Forest and Willamette National Forest have implemented closures for the Cedar Creek Fire. Please visit Willamette National Forest and Deschutes National Forest for detailed closure orders and a joint map. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place. The use of drones is prohibited in the fire area, please make it safe for our firefighters to use aircraft on the fire. Pacific Crest Trail hikers should visit pcta.org for current information.
Restrictions: Fire restrictions are in place on the Willamette National Forest and Deschutes National Forest.
Smoke: Smoke Forecast Outlooks are available at https://outlooks.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlook.
Evacuations: Sign-up for emergency mobile alerts by going to oralert.gov Please check with Lane County Sheriff’s Office 541-682-4150 and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office 541-693-6911 for updates and changes. Go to https://bit.ly/3D51kvC to view a map.
Fire Information: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM | Phone: 541-201-2335 | Email: email@example.com