This is proving to be a very challenging fire season in Oregon. The wet winter and spring, coupled with a very long dry spell and record-breaking heat, have created an especially volatile wildfire season in the region, mainly in the western part of the state. Several are “complex” fires, in which a number of smaller fires have grown into one large fire, making them more difficult to combat. Travel Oregon’s first priority is for the safety of all of our residents and visitors. Oregon is a large state and we are certainly welcoming visitors, but for your safety, please consult official resources prior to undertaking travel plans to ensure access to your destination is safe and advisable. Travel Oregon is in contact with federal, state and local officials in order to provide updated information on our website as it becomes available. Travel Oregon will utilize our Getting Around page as the central hub for sharing information.
Active wildfires in Oregon
Updated fire information:
- Some areas of the state are affected by fire-related road closures.
- For current information on travel and safety conditions, please visit the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) website: https://www.tripcheck.com/TextPages/RCreport.asp?curRegion=0#.
Health / Air quality:
- Much of the state is impacted by extreme heat and heavy smoke advisories, triggering “red flag” air quality conditions.
- See more information at http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/ and http://www.weather.gov/pqr/ for location-specific weather and air quality information.
- September in Oregon is often dry and hot, and conditions are ideal for new fire starts. Here are some great tips on wildfire prevention: http://keeporegongreen.org/prevent-wildfires/ and https://smokeybear.com/en
Want to help?
- Financial support to voluntary agencies responding to disasters is the most effective way to help people affected by Oregon’s wildfires.
- Cash allows disaster agencies to purchase exactly what is needed.
- Donate to a reputable agency responding to the disaster.
- Individuals who are interested in donating money or materials should contact the American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/local/oregon/ways-to-donate/wildfires
Additional information on two fires across the state in which we have been receiving the most inquiries:
Eagle Creek Fire
- The Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area started on Sept. 2, just south of Cascade Locks and has now burned more than 20,000 acres (as of 9/6).
- Level 3 evacuations, affecting approximately 350 people, have sent area residents to Red Cross shelters at Mt. Hood Community College, 3691 NE 17th Drive in Gresham and at the Skamania County Fairgrounds, immediately across the Columbia River in Stevenson, Wash.
- The entire Multnomah Falls area is under an evacuation notice and all lanes of Interstate 84 remain closed from Troutdale (Exit 17) to 2 miles west of Hood River (MP 62). The Bridge of the Gods is closed.
- Firefighters worked successfully to protect the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge.
- Friends of the Gorge states, “The situation is continuing to rapidly evolve and it’s crucial that members of the public stay out of the Gorge at this point. Keeping the roads clear for firefighters, first responders and evacuating Gorge residents is critical.”
- If you are in the area, The Hood River County Sheriff and Multnomah County Sheriff are the best sources for updated information.
- For more visitor information about the Columbia Gorge wildfires, visit http://www.hood-gorge.com/columbia-gorge-wildfire-updates-2017
- To support search and rescue efforts in the region contact https://gorgefriends.org/donate
- To support families that have had to evacuate contact the Cascades Chapter of the Red Cross at: http://www.redcross.org/local/oregon
Chetco Bar Fire
- The Chetco Bar Fire was sparked on July 12 by lightning in the Kalmiopis Wilderness, roughly five miles north of Brookings, and has now burned more than 175,000 acres (as of 9/6) and is continuing to grow due to heat, dry air and heavy wind.
- The Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County is the largest fire burning in Oregon at this time and the highest priority fire in the nation over the past week. Residents there are still under Level 1 (get ready), Level 2 (get set) and Level 3 (go) evacuations. If you are in the area you are encouraged to monitor the interactive evacuation map for changes and updates: http://arcg.is/2vWQN2N
- Wildland Firefighters have worked day in and day out to protect the homes and lives of those living in Southwest Oregon. So far, there have been 11 homes lost and no injuries or deaths.
- The fire is still growing throughout the region and trail, road and area closures are in place. For more information and details regarding the closures, please visit the U.S. Forest Service website at http://tinyurl.com/ClosureOrder
- Individuals who are interested in making donations of money to the wildland firefighters, visit:www.wffoundation.org or visit the Chetco Fire Help Page to help the community:https://www.facebook.com/safetycheck/the-chetco-bar-fire-aug21-2017/home/
Travel Oregon Contact:
Manager, Global Communications
Direct: 971-717-6195 Cell: 541-990-2416