Could Cool Weather Limit Oregon Fire Spread? But Doesn’t Stop Completely

Cooler temperatures and increased humidity have helped hold the blazes at bay in many locations, slowing the spread of wildfires in Oregon and allowing for the relaxation of evacuation orders close to some of the biggest flames in the state.

As the prognosis for the Cedar Creek fire has improved, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday reduced evacuation levels in Westfir and a portion of Oakridge southeast of Eugene from Level 2 (be set) to Level 1 (be ready). Although there is currently no containment of the fire, favorable weather conditions have provided some stability despite the threat of wildfire spread posed by dry downed trees and vegetation.

Since Monday, the fire has expanded by more than 5,000 acres, almost reaching 93,000 acres.

Tuesday, the Double Creek fire in Wallowa County near Imnaha had around 155,000 acres remaining and was 15% controlled. Crews enhanced the fire’s fire lines on the north end to reduce expansion to the north. In a large portion of the neighborhood, level 3 (leave immediately) and level 2 evacuations are still in place.

The Oregonian/wildfire OregonLive’s map makes it easy to follow fire activity as it moves throughout the state and the Pacific Northwest.

In northern Oregon, the Sturgill, Nebo, and Goat Mountain Two fires are still active. Nearly 20,000 acres have been burned by the Sturgill fire. Tuesday, more firefighters were flown in to help the 78 people already on the scene of the fire. Although the Nebo fire has burned more than 12,000 acres, it is not anticipated to go very far. The 531-acre Goat Mountain Two fire is still being seen by firefighters from the air.

Cool Weather Limit Oregon Fire Spread
Cool Weather Limit Oregon Fire Spread

Rum Creek fire, which is northwest of Grants Pass, is up to 80% containment with little fire activity. The fire should remain under control thanks to continued firefighting efforts by the fire departments and light rain.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Vitae Springs fire that started near South Salem has been put down, but it will continue to emit smoke until there are significant downpours. The level of the area’s evacuation orders has been reduced to Level 1. The sheriff’s office stated in a statement on Monday that there were no injuries and no structures were damaged in the incident.

After the 25-acre fire was put out on Monday, the Milo McIver State Park in Estacada’s evacuation orders were removed. According to Estacada fire chief Ian O’Connor of The Oregonian/OregonLive, the fire damaged one house and a barn.

According to Doug Towsley, who lives next to the park, he and about 75 other locals tried to put out flames started by embers in and around the park.

An air quality warning has been issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and is valid until 1 p.m. Wednesday in the northern, central, and southeast regions of Oregon. According to a statement released on Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority advised people with sensitive medical conditions, such as asthma, to use N95 or P100 respirators while going outside and to avoid being outside if at all possible.

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