PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With the Cedar Creek Fire now spanning more than 110,000 acres, local residents are being warned evacuation levels may be moved back up depending on the blaze’s activity.
The wildfire, which sits 15 miles east of Oakridge, has grown nearly 20,000 acres since Thursday and is currently burning 110,361 acres as of Saturday morning. According to the Cedar Creek Fire officials, the acreage has increased over the last few days due to firing operations implemented along the primary containment line on the west end.
The containment level remains at 0%, but more than 2,300 fire personnel are battling the blaze, along with 84 engines, 111 pieces of heavy equipment and 12 helicopters.
As long as the weather permits, those helicopters allow fire personnel to conduct aerial ignitions, which aim to slowly bring the main fire toward the completed burnout.
Rain is in the forecast which could potentially help douse the fire — but officials say scattered thunderstorms may form in the blaze’s east zone. A lightning strike is what sparked the megafire in the first place back on August 1.
On Thursday, evacuation levels were downgraded for surrounding areas. The High Prairie area, Westfir-Oakridge Road from Westfir city limits to Roberts Road, McFarland Road and Oakridge north of Laurel Butte Road were all lowered to a Level 1: “Be Ready” evacuation notice.
However, fire officials say it’s possible those evacuation orders could be required to move back up to either a Level 2: “Get Set” or even a Level 3: “Go Now” depending on conditions and fire activity.
An updated map of evacuation areas can be found online here.