The wildfire, which has killed two people and destroyed at least 435 buildings, is entering its sixth day and is expected to be contained soon, according to Cal Fire. Washington Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency in light of the ongoing wildfires across the state, and Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued a state of emergency warning of more than 230,000 acres of wildfire-prone land in both states. In Oregon, where a fire in Santiam Canyon east of Salem has forced evacuations, wildfires are blazing in at least two cities and sending thick smoke into the western part of the state, Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency for all of Oregon.
Brown said the Santiam fire, formerly known as the Beachie Creek Fire, has burned an estimated 200,000 acres. The fire has flooded the barriers and has so far burned at least 50 hectares, the fire service said.
Newberg was also dispatched, and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue is also assisting, the fire department said. The Oregon Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Oregon State Police and Oregon Bureau of Land Management are responding to the blaze. The Fire Coordinating Center on the U.S. Forest Service website tracks wildfire smoke trackers that report fires in Oregon and surrounding states.
Phase I and Phase II of the Sherwood fire, the second-largest wildfire in the state's history, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The Eagle Creek Fire is a small wildfire in Washington, but Oregon has survived the Beachie Creek Fire that raged through the eastern part of the state last week, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The fire has triggered evacuations and emergency measures across the state, said Doug Grafe of the Oregon Department of Forestry. A wildfire has broken out in the town of Sherwood, described as a town, forcing firefighters to battle the flames north and south of the city. As the fire burned in a residential area, firefighters tried to protect the homes, but none had sprinklers or working smoke detectors, he said.
An offshoot of the fire broke out in an unburned ravine, and winds drove the flames toward Boney Mountain, Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said. Firefighters from the Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue Service launched an aggressive attack to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby sheds and adjacent units.
At a news conference Tuesday night, Oregon Department of Forestry and Fire Management spokesman Mike O'Brien said the county had registered 10 fires, including the Beachie Creek, Beachy Creek and Riverside fires in the Tualatin Valley and the Boney Mountain fire. Winds eased Wednesday morning, but gusty and strong winds remained in higher elevations, he said. That, coupled with a combination of low humidity, high winds and high temperatures, made it difficult for firefighters in some parts of the state to extinguish the blaze, said John D'Amato, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service. At a news conference Friday afternoon, Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen and other fire officials explained how to fight the blaze on the beach and at Riverside Creek, according to a department news release.
Deputy Fire Marshal Dean Bray said fire crews were dispatched to the Columbia River in the afternoon. The fire burned between 80 and 100 homes near the community of Blue River on the McKenzie River, Mokrohisky said, according to firefighters.
Cal Fire previously confirmed that one structure had been destroyed so far, but damage to property was contained. Cal Fire confirmed that at least two buildings were destroyed, though traffic officials said they were damaged in an earlier fire and there were reports of significant property damage along the 101 Freeway. Catholic communities in the region, according to the Oregon Department of Public Health and Human Services. On September 14, it was reported that the church had burned down, although there were reports that there may have been smoke and ash damage.
Two fires continue to burn in Washington County, but firefighters are on the rise in both fires. On Friday morning, the Gaston County Fire Department said it had lifted evacuation orders for a resort near the Oak Fire. The resorts had been closed since Thursday, September 14, due to extreme fire danger, according to the Oregon Department of Health. At the time of this publication, it was 863 hectares, with containment increased to 10%, and it has not grown significantly to date.
Firefighters continue to work on the Chehalem Mountain Bald Peak Fire, west of Sherwood and north of Newberg. The fire has burned 166 hectares (166 acres) and continues to burn outside Brookfield, according to the Vancouver Fire Department. Firefighters are building an aggressive defence as predicted strong north and east winds shift the direction of the fire back towards more densely populated areas. A commercial fire was reported in Columbia River Gorge, south of Vancouver, Washington County, just after 4: 31 p.m. today. It was dispatched and the cause of the fire is unknown, but it continues to burn near Brookfield, "according to a press release from the Oregon Department of Health.