PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Although the “dynamic situation” in Camas continues as the Nakia Creek Fire spreads to what officials estimate is 1,565 acres, evacuation zones are now shrinking.
The Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) says as of Monday, there are approximately 2,487 residents under an evacuation order — with 1,111 under a Level 1 evacuation, 823 under a Level 2 evacuation and 553 under a Level 3 evacuation. These numbers are down from a whopping 39,446 total residents that were contacted for evacuation notices on Sunday night.
CRESA released an updated map of the shrinking evacuation zones on Monday morning. View it below.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office also removed several road closures on Monday. Northeast 53rd Street to Northeast 292nd Avenue is now open, as is Northeast Blair Road up to State Route 500.
CCSO says closures remain in the Lessard, Ireland, Livingston Mountain, Boulder Creek and Winters areas, along with the L1000 and L1400 roads.
The smoke from the fire has become so dense that it has grounded some of the aircraft that have been trying to fight it. CRESA says the Grove Field Airport is now closed through Thursday due to the blaze.
The crews currently battling the flames will be focusing on the north, west, and south sides of the fire on Monday, officials say. Structure protection crews will reportedly be joining them.
“This is not normal, this is one of the driest summers we’ve had on record,” said Sharon Steriti with the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Fire officials are hopeful, as they say the weather on Monday has become much more favorable, with temperatures dropping and gusting winds slowing.
Meanwhile, the wildfire forced school officials to cancel classes for the Washougal School District on Monday. Cape Horn-Skye Elementary School and Canyon Creek Middle School were in the Level 3 evacuation area.
The Larch Corrections Center was evacuated Sunday night after a Level 2 evacuation was issued.
Dwight Daley is one of the dozens of people and pets taking shelter at Camas Church as the wildfire rages on. He’s there with his dogs, Sammy and Jaxie.
As the fire exploded Sunday afternoon, a neighbor ran to his house to show him the new evacuation zone on her phone.
“She said, ‘See that? That’s red, that’s where we are,'” Daley explained. “A few minutes after that, one of the firemen rolled down the window and was yelling, ‘Grab whatever you got and get out of here.'”
Daley said he grabbed his pups and got out the door.
“[I’m] not going to take any chances with a situation like that,” he stated.
Daley told KOIN 6 News he was worried about the windy conditions and embers traveling.
“My property is rimmed with fir trees and it’s dry and you can imagine that would be like dropping a bomb in there,” Daley explained. “We got out of there in a big hurry.”
The Red Cross says they opened the Camas shelter Sunday afternoon and have been able to accept pets — including dogs, cats, chickens and geese — with the help of the Humane Society of Southwest Washington, along with the church.
Daley says he, Sammy and Jaxie will spend Monday night at the shelter. He’s praying they’ll have a home to return to — but for now, he’s just grateful the Red Cross is giving them a safe place.
KOIN 6 reporter Brandon Thompson contributed to this story.