PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — New Level 3 “Go” evacuation orders were issued in the massive and growing Cedar Creek Fire for Oakridge, Westfir and High Prairie areas in city limits and surrounding unincorporated areas on Friday evening hours after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act as the inferno burns more than 33,000 acres in Lane County.
Lane County Sheriff’s Office said evacuating residents are advised to travel west and warn that safety personnel may not be able to help those who do not evacuate the approaching fire, which was sparked by lightning on Aug. 1. Dry winds from the east are expected to exacerbate wildfire conditions in the region.
A temporary evacuation point has been set up at Lane Community College in Building 16 at 4000 East 30th Avenue in Eugene.
Meanwhile, Hwy 58 is closed between the Lowell Bridge and Crescent Lake as Oakridge and Westfir are evacuated.
As the Cedar Creek Fire continues to grow, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has officially invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act. Brown’s declaration allows for more resources to support local agencies as they battle the fire.
“The Cedar Creek Fire grew rapidly towards Oregon communities this morning, and the fire’s growth potential in the coming days is troubling, requiring additional resources to battle the fire and support the state’s response,” Brown said in a release. “This is a good reminder that conditions can change quickly, and that fire knows no bounds. With forecasted weather conditions this week and numerous fires in the wilderness areas near communities, it is important for all Oregonians to be prepared. Follow all evacuation orders and continue to follow local and statewide fire prevention regulations to keep our communities safe and our natural resources protected.”
Multiple trailheads and campgrounds in the Deschutes National Forest are under temporary emergency closures Friday as the growing wildfire prompted upgrades in evacuation orders.
Just before 7:20 p.m. Friday, a Level 3 “Go Now!” evacuation notice was issued for Oakridge, Westfir and High Prairie areas in city limits and surrounded unincorporated areas.
Buses are available to help residents without transportation evacuate. Buses will be staged at Oakridge High School and First Baptist Church.
All other evacuations remain in effect. More information on evacuations for the Cedar Creek Fire can be found on Lane County’s website here.
The Cedar Creek Fire was sparked by a lightning storm on Aug. 1 west of the Black Creek Trailhead, according to fire officials. The blaze was initially estimated to span about five acres.
In addition to the trail and campground closures, officials shut down the Pacific Crest Trail from Highway 58 north to Wickiup Plains Trail #12.2. Hikers can instead use the trail at Devils Lake/Wickiup Plains Trailhead. Further details on this specific closure is posted on the PCT Association website here.
The following trailheads are closed:
- Blue Lagoon Trailhead
- Charlton Lake Trailhead
- Corral Swamp Trailhead
- Deer Lake Trailhead
- Elk Lake Trailhead
- Irish & Taylor Trailhead
- Lemish Lake Trailhead
- Lucky Lake Trailhead
- Many Lakes Trailhead
- Moore Creek Trailhead
- Sisters-Mirror Lake Trailhead
- Six Lakes Trailhead
- Winopee Lake Trailhead
The following campgrounds and recreational areas are closed:
- Big Cove Boat-In Campground
- Browns Crossing Wildlife Viewing
- Browns Mountain Boating
- Cow Meadow Campground
- Crane Prairie Campground & Day Use Area
- Cultus Corral Horse Camp
- Cultus Lake Campground & Day Use Area
- Cultus Lake Picnic Area
- Deschutes Bridge
- Lava Lake Campground & Day Use Area
- Little Cove Boat-In Campground
- Little Cultus Campground & Boat Ramp
- Little Lava Lake Campground & Day Use Area
- Mile Camp Day Use
- North Davis Creek Campground & Boat Ramp
- Osprey Point Interpretive Trail
- Quinn River Campground & Day Use
- Rock Creek Campground & Day Use
Public safety personnel urge Oregonians to keep their cell phones and other devices charged to ensure they can receive emergency alerts. Along with that, officials say people should make sure they have enough gas in case of an emergency evacuation.