Marion County, Ore – Weather forecasts suggest our area is going to warm up and dry out a little bit, and some east wind may return. It’s exactly what firefighters don’t want to hear, as several major fires are still burning across Oregon.
Crews had a good weekend making progress on the Beachie Creek fire in Marion county. It’s now 56 percent contained and over 192,000 acres. The rain is helping put out hot spots, but it’s also limiting access to some areas because of muddy roads and dangerous conditions. Craig Daugherty with the fire says they have a lot of ground left to cover. They are checking fingers and islands of land that haven’t burned yet, ahead of the warm and dry weather due this week.
Residents Advised that Wind Shift Results in More Smoke
Salem, Ore. – Sunday’s weather brings much drier air and pushes winds from the north to the south. This means residents just returning to their homes along the Highway 22 corridor will see and smell more smoke. This is not new fire; it’s a shift of wind direction. There is no need to call 911; each call takes firefighters away from their work. There has been no new fire growth from the current footprint, only interior tree stumps are smoldering. Creeping and smoldering will continue; smoke will continue, but communities are protected.
With the Beachie Creek fire 55 percent contained – especially around communities – firefighters turn attention Sunday to monitoring the fire edge and ensuring any hot spots are destroyed. Rehabilitation on federal lands includes crews removing hose and pumps and clearing debris. Excavators and other types of heavy equipment are being used to finish direct and indirect lines, with a focus east of the Silver Falls State Park. On private and state lands, the Oregon Department of Forestry conducts repairs which entail water bars and fixing fences cut during suppression. Engines will be used to patrol and mop up areas of heat and hazard trees adjacent to private property and associated infrastructure.
In the coming weeks, warmer weather, low humidity, and winds will dry small sticks and organic material which, if next to burning tree stumps, could ignite and creep inside of the fire’s boundary in the northeast, towards the Bull of the Woods Wilderness. These heat sources will continue to smolder, and smoke will remain within the perimeter for weeks, but not affecting the perimeter.
There is a lot of work going on around the Beachie Creek fire and property owners are repopulating the area. It is imperative to drive slowly and defensibly.
The Marion and Linn County Sherriff Offices continue to evaluate and lower evacuation levels; check updates on their websites:
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.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 541-583-0526, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Smoke and Air Quality http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/p/air quality-now.html