Beachie Creek latest: ‘Merge’ rumor dispelled; thousands still in Level 3


Lionsheadfire forces new round of Level 1 evacuation warnings

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Here is the latest information regarding the fires burning in Marion County:

MCSO dispels ‘merging’ rumor

The Marion County officials shot down rumors Sunday that the Beachie Creek Fire and Riverside Fire would soon be merging into a larger wildfire.

“The current combination of winds, record dry forests, and a lack of natural holding features in the Table Rock Wilderness and surrounding areas mean it is still possible the fires could burn together in the coming days,” multiple agencies said in a release. “Based on current weather, it is anticipated that a future merger would not result in dynamic fire behavior as seen in the last week.”

The two fires are about one mile apart from each other, according to officials.

As of Sunday, 16,776 structures are at Level 3 evacuations and another 18,528 homes are at Level 2.

Some evacuation orders downgraded

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office downgraded the evacuation statuses of some areas that had been threatened by the Beachie Creek Fire and the Lionshead Fire.

Scotts Mills and areas surrounding the town were downgraded from a Level 3 to a Level 2 evacuation order—effective 3:30 p.m. Sunday. A current list of evacuations can be found here.

Stayton, Siblimity, Aumsville, Silverton and Mt. Angel were lowered to Level 1 “Get Set” Saturday, according to fire officials.

However, some of the areas hit hardest by the fires remain under a Level 3 “Go Now” evacuation order including Detroit, Idahna, Breitenbush, Lyons, Mehama, Mill City, Gates, the North Fork recreation area and Scotts Mills.

The Beachie Creek Fire has swallowed nearly 200,000 acres with 0% containment about six miles north of Detroit. The fire has claimed the lives of at least four people with 10 people still missing.

The family of George Atiyeh claims the famed Oregon environmentalist has gone missing following the decimation of his home. Atiyeh, 72, has not been seen since the fire spread over the house.

Atiyeh is also the nephew of the late Governor Vic Atiyeh, who served from 1979 to 1987.

Officials monitoring the lightning-born Lionshead Fire at the east end of Detroit Lake announced Sunday a Level 1 evacuation notice was issued for the Sidwalter Flats area on the Warm Springs.

Crews will continue to work the control lines to the fire, which was 5% contained as of Sunday.

“Firefighters on the west side of the crest of the cascades continue today with many of the same assignments as they worked on yesterday,” officials said in a release Sunday. “The eastern and southern portion of the fire will continue to be patrolled and the mop-up depth will increase as needed to insure the fire stays within the existing perimeter.”

Marion County remains in a State of Emergency as wildfires continue to roar throughout the county.

While law enforcement is still limiting access to the Santiam Canyon, Detroit and Idanha residents can request a check on their property by calling 503.798.6823 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. any day of the week. They should provide the following information when they call: Name, address, phone number, information about anyone missing from the location, and any animals at the location.

Marion County evacuations and resources
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To report a family member missing, please contact the non-emergency dispatch at 503.588.5032. As of Sunday morning, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said they have five people who have been reported as missing.

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