Beachie Creek Fire Update, September 17, 2020

Beachie Creek Fire under command of Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team No. 2
Team Supports Local Agencies in Assessing Infrastructure

Salem, Ore. – The Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team 2 assumed command at 7:00 PM on September 16, 2020 of the Beachie Creak Fire from Northwest Team 13 Incident Commander, Brian Gales and Oregon State Fire Marshall’s Green Team Incident Commander, Les Hallman.

Firefighters and heavy equipment are working in seven divisions that make up the perimeter around the Beachie Creek Fire. The emphasis for Thursday is to protect communities to the south and west of the fire. Firefighters will continue to directly attack the fire around Scotts Mills, Stayton, Lyons, Mill City, and Detroit. Other crews are working to protect timber investments on the north side of the fire near Scotts Mills.

While firefighters continue to build containment and contingency lines, the Incident Command Team is also working to address infrastructure and community needs by assisting power companies, insurance companies, and communication firms. The Team is providing these organizations with information, logistics, and transportation support. This work will lead to allowing residents and community members back into the area.

Fire officials also continue to work closely with the Marion County and Linn County Sheriff’s Offices, ODOT and the Oregon State Police to coordinate recovery efforts along the Santiam Canyon. Currently 4,034 structures are at Level 3 evacuations and another 3,801 are in level 2 evacuations. To protect first responders and communities near the fire, it is imperative that everyone heeds road closures and evacuations. Anyone who enters the fire perimeter jeopardizes firefighting and rescue operations, puts lives at risk, and potentially increases the time it will take to return residents to their homes.

The weather will change on Thursday as an unstable weather pattern approaches bringing late afternoon thunderstorms. Before the rain starts, winds will increase, slightly dissipating smoke. As smoke clears, aircraft will be able to fly over the fire. Thursday night, heavier rain is probable over the east half of the fire. Crews will be monitoring the weather and conditions on the fire as increased wind and rainfall can potentially result in falling trees, landslides, and flashfloods.

The Willamette National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, and State lands around the fire remain closed to the public. Go to InciWeb (link below) for more information about closures in the area.

Public information:
Facebook: facebook.com/BeachieCreek
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 541-583-0526, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Inciweb https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7001/
Oregon Smoke Blog https://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/p/air-quality-now.html

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