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Beachie Creek Fire Update, September 28

Acres: 192,843 acres                                                                                    Percent Containment: 58%  

Start Date: August 16, 2020                                                                        Cause: Under Investigation 

Origin Location: Opal Creek Wilderness:                                                  Fuels: Timber and logging slash 

two miles south of Jawbone Flats, six                                                       Flights: Temporary Flight 

miles north of Detroit, Oregon                                                                                 Restriction on east side    

Resources: 579                                                                                         

Prepare to see and smell smoke but the fire is not growing 

East winds push smoke west Monday right to Silverton, Silverton hills,  

Silver Falls State Park, and likely Lyons  

Salem, Ore. –A strong warming and drying weather pattern moves over the Cascades Monday and shifts wind direction, pushing smoke right into the communities on the western flank of the Beachie Creek fire. With wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour, you will likely see and smell smoke, but the fire is not growing.  

Within the fire’s footprint, tree stumps continue to smolder where the fire moved underground burning root systems. On Monday, ground fire may get oxygen, producing more smoke. The fuels are too wet to allow growth, but a few flames might be seen that will not go anywhere. This is typical fire behavior, and this smoldering will go on for weeks or months but is not likely to escape the fireline.   

In the Abiqua Basin area, contractors are working with heavy equipment to remove downed trees and mitigate hazards so firefighters can get deeper into the forest to seek and destroy remaining heat. Suppression crews remain in the North Fork / Elkhorn area. Canadian crews continue to mitigate hazards along the southern perimeter.  

In the Detroit to Cumley Creek area, Monday’s thermal belt will hold temperatures at night; then in the day, the strong winds shift directions potentially downing trees. Fire weakened trees continue to fall on area roads. The Oregon Department of Transportation has removed 19,200 trees off roads since the Beachie Creek fire started on August 16, 2020. Monday’s winds could result in more falling hazards; residents and motorists must be aware of their surroundings.  

The Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team remains confident with its direct and contingency containment lines. On Monday, another Type 1 team, the Pacific Northwest 3, shadows operations and assumes command on Tuesday. Teams typically rotate every 14 days.  

The Bureau of Land Management, and State lands around the fire remain closed to the public. Parts of the Willamette National Forest are closed, and visitors are encouraged to check closures on the National Forest Website and be aware that there is still fire danger in the burn area. The burn area is off-limits to all visitors. Go to InciWeb.gov for more information about closures in the area. 

Public Contact Information:  Facebook.com/BeachieCreekFire2020  Email: [email protected]  Phone: 541-583-0526, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Inciweb  https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7001/  Smoke and Air Quality https://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/p/air quality-now.html    https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks 

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Ignitions are complete on the Bend-Fort Rock, Crescent & Sisters Ranger Districts’ prescribed burns. Firefighters on all burns will transition to mop-up using water and digging to cool the perimeter of the prescribed burns.