PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Pacific Northwest’s 2022 wildfire season is not taking the weekend off, as a number of fires of various sizes are still burning. This is a roundup of the biggest fires in the Pacific Northwest as of Saturday, August 6, 2022.
Vantage Highway Fire
The Vantage Highway Fire started on August 1 and as of Saturda, covers 30,021 acres — more than 2.5 times the size reported Wednesday night, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. Despite the fire’s growth, officials said it’s reached 45% containment.
There are “sizable pockets” of area within the perimeter that officials said is unburned. When taking this into account, the fire’s total acreage was about 17,000 as of Thursday night, according to the Southeast Washington Interagency Management Team.
Fire crews confirmed the blaze threatened a dozen residences and 10 minor structures.
Residents of Vantage are not under any evacuation notices as of Wednesday night. Prior to this, a Level 2 “BE PREPARED” evacuation notice was issued before being upgraded at 9 p.m. Monday to a Level 3 “GET OUT NOW” evacuation advisory. Those orders were ultimately cut back as firefighters minimized the threat — allowing residents to return to their homes.
The Riparia Fire was first reported near Central Ferry, Wash. around 4:30 p.m. Thursday and prompted evacuations shortly after.
Parts of Whitman County are still under Level 3 “Go Now” and Level 2 “Be Set” evacuation notices, officials announced Friday morning.
The Riparia Fire has already burned about 3,000 acres and is growing.
Miller Road Fire
As of Friday evening, officials reported the fire is still burning 11,186 acres and is now 42% contained. At least one residence has been destroyed by the blaze.
Evacuation advisories were issued in Wasco County, Oregon as the Miller Road Fire burns through the Pine Grove area, officials announced Tuesday. Since then, evacuations have been downgraded by one level each.
“What does this mean?” the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post on Friday. “Anyone previously at a level 3 (GO NOW) evacuation order should consider themselves under a level 2 (GET SET) and may return to their property at this time. For the Dodge/Miller Fire this would be residents in the Juniper Flat / Victor Rd / Walters Rd and Hwy 197 area.
“Level 2 (GET SET) can relax a bit more at a level 1 (GET READY) and should just remain diligent for any changes. This includes Tygh Valley, Oak Springs, and Maupin. If you were previously under a level 1 (get ready) you can consider evacuation advisories lifted for your area at this time. This affects residents of The Dalles in the Columbia View Heights subdivision, the Oregon Vets Home, Viewpoint Trailer Park, and the Celilo Inn.”
Cow Canyon Fire
Although the blaze was only reported to be about 5 acres big when it first sparked on Wednesday, the Cow Canyon Fire has since grown to 4633 acres as of Saturday afternoon, according to Central Washington Fire Information. It is now 15% contained.
In Yakima County, a Level 3 “GO NOW” evacuation order has been issued on Malloy Road, north to the Kittitas County line. A Level 2 “GET READY” order is in place from Mallow Road down to Wenas Lake.
Central Washington Fire Info says the Selah Civic Center has an open shelter for evacuees.
Over in Kittitas County, a Level 3 evacuation is in place for all residences south and west of the Umptanum Rd/Shushuskin Rd intersection. This includes Overlook Road, Coyote Run, Long Tom Canyon Rad, Umptanum Road, Durr Road and Wenas Road.
A Level 2 evacuation is ordered for all residences and roads south of Manastash Road and west of Umptanum Road. That includes Mellergaard Road, Strande Road, Blazing Sky Lane, Victory Lane, Cove Road, Aspen Drive, Cove Lane, Orrion Road, Mitchell Road and Manastash Canyon.
Williams Lake Fire
The Williams Lake Fire is burning across 3,200 acres, about 11 miles south of Cheney, Wash.
Some fire engines were destroyed fighting both the Williams and Lind fire, but officials said no one was hurt.
Fire crews report they have gained some ground at the Windigo Fire, with about 1,046 acres still burning Saturday afternoon.
As of Saturday afternoon, officials said the blaze is 5% contained. The fire is actively burning in timber nearly 20 miles southwest of La Pine near Crescent Lake.
The Potter Fire, which was first reported on the morning of July 31, stands at approximately 167 acres while containment remains 0%, according to officials.
On Friday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Forestry announced the emergency closure of both the Willamette and Umpqua National Forests due to the blaze.
It is burning near the south side of Potter Mountain on the Middle Fork Ranger District, closing the trail section between OR 138 and Summit Lake.
Cedar Creek Fire
Lightning is being blamed for another new fire, this time in Lane County.
The lightning-caused Cedar Creek Fire in Lane County expanded 500-plus new acres is now burning 1438 acres west of the Black Creek Trailhead, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. Officials called this blaze and the Potter Fire significant.
The fire forced officials to shut down Forest Roads 2421 and 2424. Trails and trailheads on the west side of Waldo Lake are also closed.
Fly Creek Fire
Good news from the fire lines of The 274-acre Fly Creek Fire burning near Lake Billy Chinook was 95% contained as of Friday morning. Officials say the fire will be downgraded and turned over to a different management team Saturday morning.
As of Thursday evening, the evacuation orders have been lifted for the Three Rivers area, along with Perry South and Monty campgrounds. However, officials say fire crews will still be at Perry South on Friday.
Firefighters have the majority of a bulldozer line built so it doesn’t spread further, but, officials said they are continuing to establish and connect control lines around the edge of the fire.
Beech Creek Fire
The Beech Creek Fire near Long Creek is burning 155 acres and is 45% contained, officials noted Saturday afternoon. The fire reportedly threatened nearby structures.
Tolo Mountain Fire
The Tolo Mountain Fire was 75% contained and 41 acres as of Tuesday. Crews will stay in place until full containment is reached.