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Three months after lightning sparked Cedar Creek Fire, 127,000-acre blaze reaches 70% containment

Clouds of smoke tower over Cedar Creek Fire as it exploded in size in early September
Cedar Creek Fire/Facebook
Clouds of smoke tower over Cedar Creek Fire as it exploded in size in early September

OAKRIDGE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The 127,311-acre Cedar Creek Fire reached 70% containment Tuesday, three months to the day after lightning sparked the blaze near Waldo Lake that roared to life in early September, threatening Oakridge, sending smoke streaming into Central Oregon and closing a wide swath of the Willamette and Deschutes national forests, including several popular lakes and resorts.

"All containment objectives for the Cedar Creek Fire have been achieved," the final update (at least for now) stated, noting that steep terrain on the northern part of the fire is not included in the containment figure. Fewer than 50 people remain assigned to the fire, primarily for repair work and removal of any remaining equipment.

As of last Friday, the cost of fighting the blaze had reached about $134 million.

Here's Tuesday's update:

Cedar Creek Fire QuickFacts 

Size: 127,311 acres                          Origin: 15 miles E of Oakridge, OR             

Containment: 70%                          Cause: Lightning                                            

Total personnel: 48                         Start Date: August 1, 2022                         

This will be the last Cedar Creek Fire Update unless conditions change.  

Over the weekend, crews worked on portions of the forest including dozer lines, handlines, and culverts that were impacted during fire operations. Repair work included the removal of debris from culverts and strategically placing foliage, such as logs and branches, across the affected areas. The placement of materials allows the forest to begin the process of returning to its natural state.  

Crews worked to remove any remaining equipment, markings, trash, and ribbons used during operations while patrolling the perimeter to ensure any remaining hot spots did not flare up when temperatures rose into the 50’s.  Crews observed very light smoldering in a few isolated locations, which demonstrates the positive effect rainfall is having across the fire ground. Continuing precipitation will further reduce any residual heat across the landscape.  

The objectives for containment include the fire perimeter closest to the Oakridge and Westfir communities, the Highway 58 corridor and other important values. The steep terrain located in the northern portions of the fire which extend into the Willamette National Forest are not included in this percentage of containment.  

All containment objectives for the Cedar Creek Fire have been achieved. The Type 3 organization currently managing operations will turn control of the Cedar Creek Fire back to the local U.S. Forest Type 4 organization on Thursday, November 3. The Type 4 Team will continue to monitor the fire area throughout the winter.  

Weather:  Rain fell across the fire area Monday night and is forecasted to continue throughout today into Wednesday. Additional precipitation and snow is expected this week, with the extended forecast calling for a more typical winter weather pattern to continue.  

Closures: Some closures remain in effect on both the Deschutes National Forest and Willamette National Forest. These closures will remain in place until areas impacted by the fire are surveyed for safety risks and crews are able to mitigate these hazards. Please respect Forest closures for firefighter and public safety.

Article Topic Follows: Fire Alert

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