Brown approved the emergency declaration—which allows the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal to bring in more resources—for the Beachie Creek (also called the Santiam Fire), Lionshead and Holiday Farm Fires. The Beachie Creek and Lionshead fires are burning the Santiam Canyon, east of the Salem area and west of the Central Oregon town of Sisters.
Holiday Farm Fire Prompts Evacuations to Deschutes County Fairgrounds
The Holiday Farm Fire is not far away from Central Oregon, either, burning around the scenic area of McKenzie Bridge. People who live in parts of the evacuation zone are being asked to gather at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond.
- Oregon State Fire Marshal
- A scene from the Holiday Farm Fire east of Sisters.
According to officials:
In addition to homes and structures, communications towers along Highway 126 have also been destroyed, and crews are working to re-establish those connections.
Near Salem, the Oregon Department of Corrections moved prisoners from three of its facilities due to threats from the Beachie and Lionshead wildfires moving down the Santiam Canyon. Officials relocated over 1,400 inmates to the Oregon State Penitentiary in downtown Salem Tuesday.
- Oregon Department of Corrections
- Inmates from the Oregon State Correctional Institution on the east edge of Salem were moved Tuesday to the Oregon State Penetentiary in downtown Salem, along with inmates from two other facilities due to wildfire risk.
Extreme winds that blew in Monday added significant risk and caused fires to spread.
In Central Oregon, the Central Oregon Fire Information website offers daily updates on fires in the region, and recommends people text "COFIRE" to 888-777 to receive wildfire and prescribed burn text alerts for the area.
Many roads closed in and out of Central Oregon
Roads in and around Central Oregon remain closed Tuesday due to the wildfires in the area. People traveling should check tripcheck.com before traveling to ensure the roads they are traveling on are open, officials say. As of Tuesday evening, U.S. 97 is closed to travel from milepost 227, near Chiloquin, to milepost 249. In addition, as of early Tuesday, U.S. 20, the Santiam Highway is closed between Sweet Home and Santiam Junction, from milepost 33 to 72, along with OR 126 McKenzie Highway and OR 22 Santiam Highway. OR 58 - Willamette Highway is open for travel between the Willamette Valley and Central Oregon. In addition, portions of Interstate 5 remain closed in southern Oregon.
- Bend's air quality was at "Good" levels Tuesday evening; not so much for locations in the Willamette Valley.
For now, emergency officials recommend not driving unless you're evacuating an area. If you are forced to evacuate, the Oregon Department of Transportation offers the following tips:
Slow down and stay alert. Slow driving gives you more time to respond to unexpected conditions.
Turn on your headlights. Even during daylight hours your headlights will help others on the road see you. Use low-beams as high-beams reflect off the moisture in the air and cause glare.
Use fog lights. If you have them, fog lights can help cut through the smoke.
Check your entire route before setting out. Conditions may be very different at your destination.
Find an alternate route. Fire is wildly unpredictable, especially in high winds. If at all possible find a route that takes you away from fires.
Keep plenty of space between you and other vehicles. Visibility, of course, decreases in smoke so maintain a safe stopping distance between you and the vehicle up front.
If visibility becomes too dangerous to continue, pull off to the side of the road as soon as safely possible.
Never stop in a travel lane. Look for a safe area completely off the road if possible and turn off all lights, including flashers, until it’s safe to continue.
Don’t tailgate. Keep a steady, reliable pace. Remember that everyone else on the road is in the same fix you’re in. They’re counting on you to help show the way.
Roll up the windows. Set your fan to recirculate.
Have your car ready before you go. Make sure you have a full gas tank before leaving and your vehicle is in good condition. Have water, food, and medications with you – and for any pets you bring.