(TNS) - Firefighters held the line or made progress on wildfires around the state this weekend, even as warm, dry and windy conditions in some areas presented challenges.
Low humidity helped the Beachie Creek fire in Marion County flare up in areas inside the perimeter Saturday afternoon, according to fire officials. Helicopters quickly dropped water on those spots, with a total of 100,000 gallons dropped Saturday.
Substantial numbers of people have been violating closures around the state’s largest wildfire, the Lionshead, which prompted fire officials to remind people on Sunday that it is dangerous to enter the area and they could be fined up to $5,000 and sentenced to up to six months in jail.
Illegally entering the fire closure area puts “motorists at risk of accidents or injuries from falling trees or fire burning across a roadway, in addition to accidents involving engines, equipment or other fire-related vehicles,” fire officials said in a news release. If firefighters have to tend to people who become injured, it takes them away from ongoing firefighting work.
A majority of people violating the closure have done so along Oregon 46 between Detroit and Breitenbush Hot Springs, where trees have fallen on the highway and more are at risk of falling, and on Forest Roads 2231, 2233 and 4693 where officials say the fire is still active.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor also traveled to Oregon over the weekend to visit areas damaged by the wildfires and meet with the state’s congressional delegation, governor and other state officials, according to the governor’s office.
Here’s what we know Sunday:
Oregon’s largest wildfire has burned 204,385 acres as of Sunday morning and is 45% contained. Weather in the fire area is expected to be warm and windy today: a high of 70 degrees with wind gusts up to 23 mph, which is much higher than in recent days, according to fire officials. A Level 3 evacuation is still in place for Breitenbush Hot Springs and lower level orders to be ready to leave remain in place for areas including Detroit and Idanha.
Beachie Creek fire:
The second largest fire in the state stood at 193,282 acres and was 59% contained. There were
181 personnel working on it as of Sunday. Some areas on the east side of the fire remain under orders to be prepared to evacuate.
Holiday Farm fire:
The fire east of Springfield has burned 173,094 acres and is 75% contained, according to a report on the interagency wildfire site InciWeb. Parts of the fire grew more active over the weekend, which was expected given the forecast for warm, dry weather. There are no evacuation orders.
Oregon’s fourth largest wildfire has burned 138,085 acres in Clackamas County and is 54% contained. There are 445 personnel working on the fire, according to fire officials. There are no evacuations in effect on this Clackamas County wildfire.
Archie Creek fire:
This fire east of Roseburg has burned 131,542 acres and is 86% contained, according to a news release from multiple agencies and the incident management team working on it. There are currently 605 personnel assigned to the fire and residents in an area along Oregon 138 are still on notice that fire danger remains and they should be ready to evacuate.
This fire, located five miles north of Crater Lake near Diamond Lake Resort, has burned 9,975 acres and is 71% contained. There are 192 people currently assigned to work on the fire and there is an order in place for people to be ready to evacuate in case conditions change.
-- Hillary Borrud: firstname.lastname@example.org; @hborrud
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