In the wake of fires burning thousands of acres in Oregon alone, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) once again pressed the Trump administration to include a wildfire funding fix in any request to Congress for disaster aid. Currently, fire suppression efforts are sorely underfunded, he says, causing federal agencies to pull money from fire prevention efforts to fight fires — leaving us to repeat this cycle next year if the money is not coughed up in Washington.
What's happening with all those fires in Oregon today? Here's an update from fire crews Tuesday.
Strong winds yesterday fanned the flames of the Nash and nearby Separation
Fires, which continued to burn overnight. The fire has burned the shoulder of The Wife peak and is close to burning to the Wickiup Plains just north of Elk Lake. Worrying that the fire could reach Elk Lake, firefighters are prepping to protect homes and other buildings by clearing out anything that may fuel the fire — like brush and litter — and installing pumps and sprinklers. If need be, firefighters are prepared to hold the fire on the west side of the Cascade Lakes Highway.
Evacuations: On Sept. 2, officials issued a Level 2 (Get Set) evacuation notice
for the areas surrounding the Elk Lake and Hosmer Lake including Elk Lake
Resort, Elk Lake Guard Station, Elk Lake Campground(CG), Point CG, Mallard CG,
Sunset View Day Use area, Beach Day Use Area, and Quinn Meadow’s Horse Camp and a Level 1 (Ready) evacuation notice for the areas surrounding Lava Lake and
Little Lava Lake including Lava Lake Resort, Lava Lake CG, and Little Lava Lake
Current maps including the evacuation areas for the Nash Fire.
Trail closures are in place: Closed trails include: Wickiup Plains, South Sister/Devil’s Lake, Green Lakes, Sisters Mirror Lake, Elk Lake, and PCT from Irish and Taylor Lake north to Olallie Lake. PCT Trail Angels will be at Cultus Lake to help hikers.
More information on trail closures.
Milli Fire update:
Firefighters are putting out hot spots after containing the east, southeast and south flanks of the Milli Fire, but it is still pushing southwest to North Matthiue Lake. Fire officials are monitoring for hot spots at the Lava Camp campground area, but it the fire has been contained. Helicopters are making water drops in the area to put spot fires.
Hwy 242 is still closed east of the Cascade Crest to the junction of Forest Road 15 due to debris and damage to the road. Clean-up and repairs are in the works and it won’t reopen until ODOT deems it safe for travel.
Evacuation Levels: For more information on evacuation levels, please contact the Deschutes County Sheriff’s office at 541-693-6911.
Current evacuation levels:
Level 1 – Crossroads subdivision, Edgington Road, Remuda Road, Peterson Burn Road, Wildwing and Three Creeks Road residences. Tollgate subdivision, all areas between OR 242 and US 20, west of Cold Springs Cutoff (Forest Road 1018) which includes Black Butte Ranch.
Eagle Creek Fire update:
The Eagle Creek Fire moved west on Monday as firefighters worked through the night to provide structure protection against the Eagle Creek Fire. In the early morning, the fire hopped across the Columbia River into Washington near Archer Mountain.
I-84 remains closed from Troutdale to Hood River due to rocks and rolling debris entering the roadway. Washington State Route 14 is open to passenger vehicle traffic, but closed to commercial vehicles. Commercial vehicles are being routed to Highway 26. You can find road closure updates for Oregon and Washington online.
Officials identified a 15-year-old boy from Vancouver, Wash. as a suspect in the cause of the fire. It is believed that he along with a few others shot fireworks off near Eagle Creek Trail, sparking the fire on Saturday. No arrests or formal charges have been made.
If you have any information on the cause of the fire, please contact the Oregon State Police at 503-375-3555.