More than 1,100,000 acres burned in Oregon and Washington

Photo of firefighting efforts at the Tepee Fire

Oregon Forests Forever continues to keep a close eye on the fires raging in Oregon and neighboring states. Here’s the latest update:

Costs top $521 million

More than 3,000 fires have burned more than 1.1 million acres in Oregon & Washington according to the National Forest Service. Firefighting costs have exceeded over $521 million this summer.

I-5 reopens partially

Last week we shared with you news about a closure to a major interstate that connects Oregon and California. On Monday, it was announced that one lane in both directions are now open. However, the human-caused fire that prompted the closure was only 5 percent contained.

“Motorists should anticipate long lines of vehicles and long delays,” said California Department of Transportation spokeswoman Denise Yergenson in a statement.

The fire is still burning and vehicles carrying flammable materials are not allowed on the 17-mile stretch in Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

More than 3,000 fires have burned more than 1.1 million acres in Oregon & Washington
Two fires in Central Oregon

Firefighters are also tackling two fires in Central Oregon. The Tepee Fire in the Deschutes National Forest and the Willow Fire on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land in the Prineville district were both human-caused and under investigation. It was recently reported that the Tepee Fire was started by an abandoned campfire.

The Tepee Fire grew to 1,592 acres burned by Friday evening due to strong winds. Crews were able to establish a fire line around 60 percent of the blaze on the western side. Meanwhile the Willow Fire is estimated at 300 acres, south of Pelton Dam and Willow Canyon and about six miles northwest of Madras. Firefighters are receiving an assist from air tankers and a heavy helicopter. The fire was 20 percent contained as of Saturday.


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