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Warmup so far not fueling big growth on 114,000-acre Cedar Creek Fire, now 20% contained

Smoldering timber litter and stump under a fir tree on the east side of the fire, southwest of Cultus Mountain
Eric Johnson, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Smoldering timber litter and stump under a fir tree on the east side of the fire, southwest of Cultus Mountain

(Update: Sunday information)

OAKRIDGE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- So far, a warming and drying trend has not made for any major growth of the Cedar Creek Fire, which has topped 114,000 acres but has reached 20% containment, officials said Sunday.

Here's Sunday's update:

Cedar Creek Fire
September 25, 2022
Daily Update at 8:30 AM
 
Cedar Creek Fire Quick Facts

Size: 114,104 acres

Contained: 20%

Start Date: August 1, 2022

Origin: 15 miles east of Oakridge, Oregon

Cause: Lightning

Total personnel: 1,817

Resources: 44 engines, 28 crews, 68 heavy equipment, 9 helicopters

West Zone Operations: Overnight, the ridgelines and higher elevations areas (above 4,000 ft) experienced lower humidity and vegetation is drying out after the recent rain. In these areas, fire behavior is picking up and additional smoke is visible. However, the firelines on the west zone are primarily in lower-elevation drainages. where the moisture levels are remaining higher and limiting fire spread.

The fire is smoldering in places and there is scattered isolated burning in areas like Fisher Creek drainage.  Within the fire perimeter there are pockets smoke where downed logs that retained heat following the rain are being consumed.

To the south and southwest of the fire, crews and mechanized equipment have completed fireline preparations such as cutting snags and thinning and chipping vegetation. If conditions, such as humidity and fuel moisture are at levels needed for successful burning operations, firefighters may initiate firing to reduce fuels between the main fire and the control line. 

Northwest Incident Management Team 9 led by Incident Commander Tyson Albrecht arrived Saturday for an in-briefing at the Middle Fork Ranger District and will be shadowing Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3 Sunday to provide for a smooth transition between teams. This will provide time for a thorough transfer of information before Northwest Team 9 takes command of the west zone of the fire on Monday morning.

East Zone Operations: The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway/ Highway 46 will remain closed between Lava Lake and the Crescent Cutoff/ Road 61.  Crews have completed 50% of work on the shaded fuel break on the byway.  Shaded fuel breaks are performed in timbered areas where the trees on the break are thinned and pruned to reduce fire intensity yet retain enough shade to slow surface fire.  Operators are continuing to use equipment such as masticators, chippers, and dump trucks to complete this project.  To keep the public and our operators safe, please continue to observe the Forest Closure. If you have any questions about the roads or recreational areas that are open with the new Forest Closure, please contact the Fire Information Line: 541-201-2335, 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM.

Favorable weather conditions have helped firefighters shore up fire lines and fuel breaks.  Firefighters are retrieving equipment from areas where protection work has been completed, like the Odell Lake area, and organizational downsizing continues as resource objectives are met. 

Fire activity on the east zone is expected to be low with continued smoldering in needle litter and duff, with minor creeping possible in patches exposed to the sun and breeze.   

Weather: Through Tuesday the weather is expected to be warmer and drier with temperatures in the 70s and lower 80s. Winds are expected to be light and terrain-driven, with morning southeast to afternoon northwest patterns.

Closures: The Deschutes National Forest and Willamette National Forest both have closures and fire restrictions in effect. Please visit Willamette National Forest and Deschutes National Forest for the most recent closure orders and maps. Elijah Bristow State Park is in use by firefighters and closed to the public. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place. The use of drones is prohibited in the fire area, please make it safe for our firefighters to use aircraft on the fire. Pacific Crest Trail hikers should visit pcta.org for current information.

Smoke: For current conditions, see Fire.airnow.govoakridgeair.org, and LRAPA - Today's Current Air Quality. Smoke Forecast Outlooks are available at https://outlooks.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlook.

Evacuations: An updated map of the evacuation areas is available at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/CedarCreek. Sign-up for emergency mobile alerts by going to oralert.gov. Please check with Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150 and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office at 541-693-6911 for updates and changes. 

Onlinehttps://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8307/  https://www.facebook.com/CedarCreekFire2022
YouTubehttps://www.tinyurl.com/cedarcreekfireyoutube
Fire Information Line: 541-201-2335, 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM | 
Email2022.cedarcreek@firenet.gov

Article Topic Follows: Fire Alert

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