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Disasters & Accidents

Incoming Rain Could ‘Knock The Stuffing’ Out Of Beachie Creek Fire

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Fire managers say drenching rain from an incoming weather system could aid in their efforts to contain the Beachie Creek Fire in eastern Marion County.

The fire killed at least five people and destroyed hundreds of homes as it tore through the Santiam Canyon two weeks ago. As of Tuesday evening, the Beachie Creek Fire was 38 percent contained.

Fire Behavior Analyst Dan Pierson said crews are working to put out hot spots, including tree stumps. He said the rain won’t put out the fire entirely, "but it will really knock the stuffing out of these stumpholes. And it’s going to take at least multiple days of dry weather after the storm for that stuff to start to come to life again.”

While the storm could bring high wind gusts, Pierson says they’re not expected to drive the fire toward any populated areas. A bigger concern is mudslides and falling trees in flame-scarred areas.

The communities of Detroit and Idanha are still under Level 3 evacuations, as are the North Fork and Breitenbush Road corridors.

"There's a lot of risks that still need to be mitigated up there," said Marion County Sheriff Joe Kast during a live-streamed community meeting Tuesday evening. "As we get those risks taken care of, we'll get folks back in. But I don't have a timeline."

State Highway 22 remains closed east of Gates.

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