Oregon fires: moved to 12,756 acres


Oregon fires: moved to 12,756 acres

Amid air quality warnings, teams continue to fight several wildfires across Oregon. From the Willamette Valley and beyond, here are the latest updates on the fires.

Flat Fire grows to 12,756 acres.

As it continued to spread, the Fire had grown to 12,756 acres by Wednesday morning, according to a news release from the fire brigade.

The Fire is burning in the Oak Flat and Agness area of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southwestern Oregon, about an hour east of Gold Beach and near the confluence of the Illinois and Rogue Rivers. Its path extended toward Wild Horse Ridge up Lawson Creek on its western side Tuesday morning.

Area closures issued by Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest include roads, trails, and a portion of the Illinois River. The statement added that those who drive in the area should be aware of the increased fire traffic.

In addition, the area's public lands were closed Monday night. This closure includes the Illinois River and its course and the northern half of the Calmyopsis wilderness. The Rogue River is still open and accessible.

A red flag warning is also in effect throughout southern Oregon due to a combination of winds and low humidity.

Towards the north side of the Fire, fire screens have been reinforced by crews to protect the community of Agness. Structure protection groups also work to protect buildings. The teams said earlier that the Fire threatened about 40 buildings.

"Last night, firefighters carried out successful arson operations in the Northwest Section and will continue today if conditions permit," a statement released Wednesday morning read. "Small burns enable firefighters to consume vegetation between themselves and wildfires, making firefighting safer and slowing the spread of fires to protect local communities."

The Flat Fire started on Saturday at Oak Flat Campground toward the mouth of the Illinois River. Firefighting teams said the cause of the Fire is still under investigation. As the Fire intensified, the plume of smoke became visible from Gold Beach to Grants Pass.

The team that fights the flames has also grown. At least 516 firefighters and members of 17 crews are on site, along with ten engines and seven helicopters.

A community meeting will be hosted at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Agness Library Park.

The Boulder Fire cleanup effort has been completed.

The 233-acre Boulder Fire in the Mount Hood National Forest has never grown larger. Teams finished 100% clearing Wednesday in both sections, taking the heat along the edge of the Fire and cooling it down.

Repairing roads damaged during the Fire has become a new focus as crews continue to patrol for any hot spots. More than 395 firefighters worked to put out the blaze burning around Little Boulder Lake.

Fire officials are also asking for help determining how the Boulder Fire started.

"The Forest Service is requesting that the public recall any information, photographs, or video they may have from their visit to the area where the Fire started on July 8. Any information that can help investigators determine the cause of the Fire. Please provide any information that can aid fire investigation efforts to SM.FS.R6TipHotLine@usda.gov."

Containing 224 fires

224 Fire hasn't grown from 38 acres but is now 50% contained. Located 5 miles southeast of Estacada, the North Fork Road leading to the Fire is closed to the public for the teams' safety.

All evacuations were lifted by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

"Firefighters working on the ground today continue to complete fire lines and work from existing containment lines that are clearing to keep the fire under control," the North Cascade, Oregon Forestry Department added in an update. "Tonight, operations will work to eliminate 75 feet of the Fire, where safety allows. That means extinguishing all hot spots to reduce the chance of the Fire spreading." The cause of the fires is still under investigation.

Hight Creek Fire

Southwest of Vinita, the Haight Creek Fire is estimated to have burned more than 40 acres. According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, no evacuation orders were issued, and no structures or power lines were threatened.

"The biggest threat is natural resources," the ministry added in an update. Crews worked overnight

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