Downed power lines sparked 13 Oregon fires

A fire incident report says downed power lines sparked at least 13 fires during a period of high winds last week between two Oregon communities that were devastated by flames.

The report from the Northwest Interagency Fire Coordination Center that was written last Thursday says the fires ignited between Mehama and Detroit east of the capital of Salem during peak winds on Sept. 7.

The report doesn’t say to what extent those fire starts affected a larger, separate blaze that started Aug. 16.

That wind-driven fire, called the Beachie Creek Fire, swept through a canyon on Sept. 8 and wiped out the towns of Detroit, Gates, Mill City and Idanha. Its cause is still under investigation.

The Oregon Public Utility Commission told local media Tuesday that it had no information that attributed a “specific wildfire to any specific Oregon utility.”

The Oregon Department of Forestry is closely monitoring 12 major fires in Oregon, (see table below for details).

Fires are removed from the list when they are 100% lined and fire managers are confident in their progress toward containment.

There are about 6,500 personnel assigned to these fires from across the nation and Canada. This doesn’t include the many government emergency response employees, landowners, forestland operators, and members of the community who are contributing to the fight in whatever way they can. About 1 million acres have burned in Oregon since the start of this year, which is nearly double the 10-year average of approximately 557,811.

Fire name Acres burned (est.) Containment Location
Beachie Creek 191,138 20% 15 miles N of Detroit
Lionshead 189,316 10% 20 miles W of Warm Springs
Holiday Farm 170,637 8% 3 miles W of McKenzie Bridge
Riverside 135,956 3% 2 miles SE of Estacada
Archie Creek 128,020 20% 20 miles E of Glide
Brattain 44,800 20% 8 miles S of Paisley
Slater 38,721 in Oregon 10% SE of Cave Junction (also in No. California)
S. Obenchain 32,814 25% 5 miles E of Eagle Point
Two Four Two 14,473 29% W/NW of Chiloquin
Thielsen 8,645 1% E of Diamond Lake
Echo Mtn. Complex 2,552 45% 4 miles NE of Lincoln City
North Cascade Complex 2,315
Multiple locations in ODF’s North Cascade District

Please note: The acres burned estimates above are based very limited information available. These numbers will change over the next several days, in some cases significantly. We will be taking every opportunity to map these fires. Fire maps are an important tool for both ongoing response operations and keeping people informed.


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