The Emergency Disaster Declaration makes it possible for state, tribal and local governments to get federal equipment and other resources to help battle the massive fires that are burning in Oregon right now—largely on the western slope of the Cascades. As we reported early Friday morning, 500,000 Oregonians have been put under some type of evacuation order or warning (either a Level 1, 2 or 3 evacuation order), while an estimated 900,000 acres of land burns around the state.
With Friday's Disaster Declaration, federal disaster funds are now available for Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Jefferson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Tillamook, and Washington counties.
Events canceled; trails closed in Central Oregon due to smoke
Meanwhile, with the winds now changed to a westerly direction, Central Oregon is getting hit with intense smoke and hazardous air quality conditions.
This morning, the Bureau of Land Management for Oregon and Washington announced a closure of all public BLM lands east of Interstate 5, effective this morning. That includes all roads, sites and trails.
"Multiple new fires started on Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and private lands in the region have prompted Level 3 “Go” evacuations," stated a press release from the agency Friday. "Moderate to heavy smoke impacts from the fires are expected to continue along the western slopes of the Cascades and into the Willamette Valley."
The Deschutes National Forest announced additional closures this morning due to wildfire. According to the DNF, the Sisters Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest is immediately expanding a forest closure to great portions of the Metolius area and the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness as a precaution against potential wildfire spread from the Lionshead Fire. In addition, all sections of the Pacific Crest Trail on the Deschutes National Forest also are closed as of today.
The Redmond School District announced Friday that all school buildings are closed—so that means no distribution of meals for families.
This morning, the Sisters Folk Festival announced that it had canceled its "Close 2 Home" concerts planned for this weekend. The socially distanced shows were to be a replacement for the bigger Sisters Folk Festival weekend, which was scaled back to just one venue due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In Bend, BendFilm announced today that it had canceled the drive-in movies planned for this weekend at the Deschutes Brewery lot, including this Saturday's screening of "I am Not Your Negro." BendFilm hopes to still be able to screen the John Lewis documentary, "Good Trouble," next Friday.
We'll update this page with other local cancellations as we hear about them.
Helpful fire resources:
The Oregon Wildfire Resources web page lists evacuation centers, road closures and other helpful information.
See our earlier fire update from Friday morning here.