Cedar Creek Fire Engulfs Over 3,000 Acres | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Cedar Creek Fire Engulfs Over 3,000 Acres

Harsh terrain keeps firefighters away, and containment lines have yet to be set



The Cedar Creek Fire ignited on Aug. 1 after a lightning storm touched down about 3 miles west of Waldo Lake on the Willamette National Forest, about 40 miles southwest of Bend. The fire quickly burned up the heavy timber and as of Aug. 8 it's 3,234 acres.

The smoke from the Cedar Creek Fire seeped into Bend over the past two weeks, which has seen two days of moderately unhealthy air quality. - COURTESY OF INCIWEB
  • Courtesy of Inciweb
  • The smoke from the Cedar Creek Fire seeped into Bend over the past two weeks, which has seen two days of moderately unhealthy air quality.

On Aug. 4 the Willamette National Forest closed the entire Waldo Lake Wilderness area, dispatching patrols to corral campers and other recreationists out of the area. Since discovering the fire, firefighters have had difficulty combating it due to the terrain.

"Crews assigned to the fire were pulled back for a number of reasons: there was no reliable safe access to the fire, there were no escape routes for firefighters on the ground and so far, there are no apparent natural barriers available for firefighters to stop the fire, especially without available air support," Willamette National Forest wrote in a press release.

Some 236 people are working on stopping the fire as of Aug. 8, and crews are working on finding containment lines and developing a plan to control it. On August 8 the fire was 0% contained. Lower temperatures and higher relative humidity aren't expected to significantly modify fire behavior until Aug. 9.

"Relative humidity will fall low enough to slow most fire spread. Fire behavior will still consist of creeping, smoldering, and some surface fire with occasional single tree torching. Minimal fire spread expected," a report from Willamette National Forest says.

Thursday's expected lower humidity had the potential to allow the fire to spread where there's more fuel, but some smoldering and slow-moving fire spread is likely. The estimated containment date of the Cedar Creek Fire is Oct. 1.

The fire has been a source for the smoke seeping into Bend, which at times tipped the region in "moderate" air quality, according to the Air Quality Index. Moderate is typically acceptable for most people, but could cause health concerns for people who are prone to respiratory symptoms.

About The Author

Jack Harvel

Jack is originally from Kansas City, Missouri and has been making his way west since graduating from the University of Missouri, working a year and a half in Northeast Colorado before moving to Bend in the Spring of 2021. When not reporting he’s either playing folk songs (poorly) or grand strategy video games,...

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