PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Evacuation levels for the Priceboro Fire that emerged Friday afternoon in Linn County have been downgraded to a Level 1 “Be Ready” notice after the fire reached 20% containment Saturday afternoon, according to the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
The field fire began about one mile north of Mount Tom outside of Harrisburg around 4 p.m. on Friday, prompting Level 3 evacuations in the surrounding areas. According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, more than 160 firefighters battled the 250-acre blaze.
On Saturday, firefighters established a control line around the full perimeter of the fire. The Oregon Department of Forestry says the area’s hot, dry conditions could have made the wildfire unpredictable and hard to control.
“We had a mixed bag with the weather today,” said ODF District Forester Chris Cline. “The wind and dry conditions stoked fire activity in some areas, but the overcast was a huge help today.”
Officials say crews attacked the fire with seven aircraft, 14 engines, two hand crews, four tenders and three dozers on Friday, and more firefighters continued to monitor the fire overnight. One crew and two engines will continue to monitor the fire through Saturday evening.
The cause of the fire, however, is still under investigation.
“It’s really hot and dry out there,” Cline said. “With these near-extreme conditions, we need the public’s help to keep fire off the landscape. The vegetation is very receptive to fire, so we’re asking the public to be mindful and do their part.”
Stay with KOIN 6 as this story develops.