Oregon wildfire quadruples in size, forcing more than 2,000 homes to evacuate

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A wildfire raging south of Portland, Oregon grew to nearly 86,000 acres on Sunday, threatening 2,230 homes and hundreds of commercial structures, officials said.

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal said the fire beached existing lines and is now 0% contained. Oregon OSFM said it had committed seven task forces and an incident management team to protect homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure in the area.

Fire officials addressing the Cedar Creek Fire.

Fire officials addressing the Cedar Creek Fire.
(Oregon OSFM)

On Friday, Gov. Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act to provide additional resources to crews fighting the fire and support the state’s response.

“This is a good reminder that conditions can change quickly, and that fire knows no bounds. With forecasted weather conditions this week and numerous fires in the wilderness areas near communities, it is important for all Oregonians to be prepared,” Brown said in a statement.

MOSQUITO FIRE IN CALIFORNIA SPREADS TO OVER 41,400 ACRES, FORCES THOUSANDS TO EVACUATE

The Cedar Creek Fire has burned for over a month across Lane and Deschutes counties. Firefighters were protecting remote homes in Oakridge, Westfir, and surrounding mountain communities.

Meanwhile, at least 18 other large fires are burning across Oregon and Washington, leading to evacuations and targeted power outages as the challenge of dry and windy conditions continues in the region.

Firefighters use aircraft to battle a wildfire south of Salem, Ore., on Friday, Sept.  9, 2022.

Firefighters use aircraft to battle a wildfire south of Salem, Ore., on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.
(AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

Further south, firefighters made progress against a huge Northern California wildfire that was still growing and threatening thousands of mountain homes.

The Mosquito Fire in the foothills east of Sacramento spread to nearly 65 square miles, with 10% containment, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.

“Cooler temperatures and higher humidity assisted with moderating some fire activity,” but higher winds allowed the flames to push to the north and northeast, according to a Cal Fire incident report Sunday.

A helicopter carries water on a longline to a wildfire near Salem, Ore., at sunset Friday, Sept.  9, 2022. Climate change is bringing drier conditions to the Pacific Northwest and that requires strategies that have been common in fire-prone California for the past decade or more, said Erica Fleishman, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University .

A helicopter carries water on a longline to a wildfire near Salem, Ore., at sunset Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Climate change is bringing drier conditions to the Pacific Northwest and that requires strategies that have been common in fire-prone California for the past decade or more, said Erica Fleishman, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University .
(AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

More than 5,800 structures in Placer and El Dorado counties were under threat, and some 11,000 residents of communities including Foresthill and Georgetown were under evacuation orders.

In Southern California, cooler temperatures and rain brought respite to firefighters battling the massive Fairview Fire about 75 miles southeast of Los Angeles after sweltering heat last week.

Firefighters use aircraft to battle a wildfire south of Salem, Ore., on Friday, Sept.  9, 2022. Climate change is bringing drier conditions to the Pacific Northwest and that requires strategies that have been common in fire-prone California for the past decade or more, said Erica Fleishman, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University .

Firefighters use aircraft to battle a wildfire south of Salem, Ore., on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Climate change is bringing drier conditions to the Pacific Northwest and that requires strategies that have been common in fire-prone California for the past decade or more, said Erica Fleishman, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University .
(AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

The 44-square-mile blaze was 45% contained Sunday. The fire has destroyed at least 30 homes and other structures in Riverside County. Two people died while fleeing flames last Monday.

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The southern part of the state welcomed the cooler weekend weather as a tropical storm veered off the Pacific Coast and faded, helping put an end to blistering temperatures that nearly overwhelmed the state’s electrical grid.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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