MarionCo downgrades more areas to Level 2; rain helps fire battles

Wildfires

Some areas downgraded from Level 3 to Level 2

Burned out fire truck on OR 22 near Detroit. September 2020 (ODOT)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Here are the latest updates from fires happening in Marion County:

Some evacuation levels downgraded

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office lowered several areas from a Level 3 evacuation order to a Level 2 Saturday:

  • Wagner Rd
  • Wagner Ln
  • Teeters Rd
  • Gopher Ln
  • Jennie Rd south of Hwy 22

In addition to the downgrades, MCSO said Highway 22 would remain closed between Highway 226 and Mile Post 29 near the west end of Mill City. However the four-mile section of Highway 22 between Mill City and Gates has been opened back up for travel.

MCSO said anyone returning to Gates and Mill City needs to use the following travel route to access their residences and businesses:

– Highway 22 east to Hwy 226
– Hwy 226 turns into Lyons/Mill City Dr
– Lyons/Mill City Dr to SW Kingwood Ave
– Kingwood Ave to Gates School Rd
– Gates School Rd to E Sorbin Ave
– E Sorbin Ave to Highway 22

Rain helps crews increase containment of Beachie Creek, Lionshead fires

Crews battling the Beachie Creek Fire and Lionshead Fire got a helping hand from mother nature Friday as rainfall decreased fire behavior, allowing firefighters to make substantial progress securing the blaze’s perimeter.

Beachie Creek

Lines around Scotts Mills, Stayton, Lyons, Mill City, and Detroit were strengthened, according to officials.

More precipitation is not expected for the next few days, but temperatures will remain cooler and overnight relative humidity will increase. 

As smoke lifted Friday, visibility of the fire improved, allowing crews to utilize aircraft and better assess certain areas of the fire.

The Beachie Creek Fire currently has 1,118 structures in Level 3 evacuations and another 4,574 in level 2 evacuations. The fire–which began August 16–remains just 20% contained as of Saturday.

Lionshead

“Collaboration with firefighting efforts on the Beachie and Riverside Fires has created great opportunities for containment on the northwestern edge of the [Lionshead] fire,” officials said in a release Saturday.

A strong, low-pressure system is slated to move inland Saturday, which would create rain and thunderstorms over the Lionshead Fire and surrounding region. A warmer and drier trend will move in later this weekend with the possibility of rain mid week, according to officials.

The Lionshead Fire is listed at 198,231— making it the largest wildfire in the state. Crews currently have it at 10% containment.

Evacuation areas as of 9 a.m.

Level 3 – “Go”

*Detroit
*Idanha
*Breitenbush
*Highway 22 @ Highway 226, east to Mile Post 29, including North Fork Road, Pioneer Road, and other roadways in this corridor.
*The areas immediately to the north of the city limits of Mill City and Gates remain at a Level 3 – “Go” evacuation status.

(Road closures will be in effect on Carr Road, Hudel Road and Gates Hill Road north of the city limits)

Level 2 – “Be Set”

*Lyons
*Mehama
*Mill City
*Gates
*Fernridge Rd west of Shellburg Creek Rd to Basil Hill
*Crooked Finger Rd & Moss Lane

Level 1 – “Ready”

*Scotts Mills
*Areas east of Meridian Road, Davis Creek, and Victor Point south to the Marion County line

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