The Cedar Creek Fire burning on the Willamette National Forest grew to 18,143 acres Tuesday and a Red Flag Warning could cause it to grow.
People in Central Oregon should expect a lot more smoke in the next couple of days. It could reach “unhealthy for sensitive groups” level.
“The elderly or pretty much just anyone who has trouble breathing, even younger folks. Those are the people we include in the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups,’” said Dan Byrd, an air resource adviser working on the Cedar Creek Fire.
Central Oregon Fire Info says a Red Flag Warning has been issued for hot, dry and unstable conditions and will likely remain through Wednesday. This combination of weather is expected to increase fire activity.
“High temperatures are predicted to reach 98°F in lower elevations and 90°F in higher elevations,” Central Oregon Fire Info said. “Wind speeds will reach 6-8 mph with gusts of up to 16 mph. Southeast winds will shift to southwest winds by the afternoon.”
Winds from the west/southwest are expected to push more smoke into Deschutes County. That smoke is expected to meander in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties through Thursday.
An air quality advisory is in effect through 2:00 p.m. Thursday, but that could be shortened or extended depending on how conditions change.
“As we get further into Thursday and Friday and Saturday, at least for Redmond to the La Pine area including Bend, it looks like we’re probably going to see pretty good air quality as we get later in the week,” said Byrd.
Here is the latest on the fire from InciWeb:
“Over 800 firefighters and support personnel continue working on the Cedar Creek Fire near Waldo Lake east of Oakridge, Oregon. Because of the fire’s location, in very steep and difficult to access terrain, including wilderness and roadless areas, firefighters have been using primarily an indirect strategy. This means they have been constructing firelines away from the active fire edge, along roads and trails, where they have a better chance of successfully stopping the fire. Recent favorable weather and fire behavior, as well as the availability of firefighting resources has opened more opportunities to get closer to the fire with more direct fire suppression tactics, potentially suppressing the fire at a smaller acreage than originally anticipated.”
The fire remains 12% contained.
Here is the fire attack plan, according to Central Oregon Fire Info.
“Firefighters will be working from the northeastern edge of Waldo Lake to improve the 514 road system up to the Taylor Burn Guard Station. This will establish an anchor point and primary line to build off of as the fire continues to move northeast. Crews on the northern portion of the fire will continue to improve Forest Road (FR) 2417 and the Winchester trail system towards the Taylor Burn Guard Station as the primary line and FR 19 as a contingency line. Portions of FR 19 have been closed from Kiahanie campground to Roaring River campground. Progress has been made from FR 2417 to Lower Quinn Lake. Firefighters will continue to scout for alternate lines in that area. On the southern edge, crew will continue to hold and improve FR 2421. A spike camp will be established on the southeastern edge of the fire to finish the line on Black Creek, which may take several days.”