© 2022 KLCC

KLCC
136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401
541-463-6000
klcc@klcc.org

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Oregon's Willamette Valley seen from Eugene
NPR for Oregonians
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Power shutoffs and evacuations for the 2022 east wind event

Eugene smoke Sept. 9 2022
Brian Bull
/
KLCC
Smoke from the Cedar Creek Fire blanketed the Eugene area on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.

UPDATED 9/10 10:05 a.m.

With Red Flag warnings in place throughout western Oregon, several utilities have strategically shut down electricity to reduce the chance that wind-blown power lines will spark a new fire. That, plus the existing Cedar Creek Fire in eastern Lane County, has the region on high alert. The wind is also responsible for lower air quality in the southern Willamette Valley.

On Friday afternoon, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown invoked the "Emergency Conflagration Act" in response to the Cedar Creek Fire. "This declaration allows the Office of State Fire Marshal to mobilize resources to support local fire service agencies in Lane County to carry out their plan to protect lives, homes, and critical infrastructure," according to a news release from the governor's office.

On Saturday morning, officials on the Cedar Creek Fire said weather conditions continue to be a source of concern.

This post will be updated with new information about evacuations, power shutoffs, and related closures.

EVACUATIONS

A map of evacuation areas for the Cedar Creek Fire is available at this link.

As of Saturday morning, the following evacuation notices were in effect:

Level 3: (GO NOW)

The Cedar Creek Fire prompted Level 3 evacuation notifications in the Oakridge, Westfir and High Prairie areas, both within city limits and in the surrounding unincorporated areas Friday evening.

A map of evacuation areas is available at this link.

Travelers were advised to head west, follow directions of public safety officials, drive carefully, and keep their headlights on.

Level 3 means leave immediately! Do NOT take time to gather things. GO NOW!

A large swath of wilderness and forest areas to the north and east of Waldo Lake is also under a Level 3 evacuation. Refer to this website for specific areas.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter for evacuees from the Cedar Creek Fire. The shelter is located at the Lane Events Center 796 W 13th Ave. in Eugene. There is also a "Temporary Evacuation Point" at Lane Community College, 4000 E. 30th Avenue in Eugene. The Temporary Evacuation Point is located in Building 16.

Information about large and companion animal sheltering is available at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/CedarCreek. Lane County Animal Services is looking for volunteers with previous large animal experience to assist at the Lane Events Center. Those interested can go right to the Lane Events Center Livestock Arena.

Separately, Level 3 evacuations are in effect in Marion County in an area south of Salem due to a wildfire.

  • Vitae Springs Road between Skyline Rd S to River Rd
  • West side of Skyline Rd from Vitae Springs Rd to Cole Rd S
  • Orville Rd S
  • Riversprings Rd to Prospect Ridge

The Red Cross has opened an evacuation shelter at Judson Middle School, 4512 Jones Rd SE, Salem.

Meanwhile, the Oregon State Fair announced Friday night that the fairgrounds are "now open to accept livestock evacuees impacted by the South Salem fire. If you need to evacuate your livestock animal, please head to the Oregon State Fair gate on Silverton Road in Salem."

Level 2: (BE SET)

Some rural, forested areas north and east of Waldo Lake. Refer to this website for specific areas.

For Salem, the follow areas in Marion and Polk Counties were designated Level 2 by the Marion Co. Sheriff's Office at 10:35pm:

  • Marion County:
    • River Road S at Sawmill Rd
    • Sawmill Rd S
    • South side of Ballyntyne Rd S
    • Stonehill Ave S
    • Jory Hill Rd S west of Elmhurst Ave S
    • Elmhurst Ave S to Nehalem St S
    • Cole Rd S west of Bates Rd S
    • West side of Bates Rd S to Bunker Hill Rd S including the Chinook Estates neighborhood
    • Bunker Hill Rd S to Riverside Dr S
    • Riverside Dr S from River Rd S to Sidney Rd S
    • West side of Sidney Rd S to Buena Vista Rd S
  • Polk County:
    • East of Corvallis Rd from the Independence Bridge to Davidson Rd
    • North of Davidson Rd and Wigrich Rd east to the Willamette River

Level 1: (BE READY)

An area northeast of Cultus Lake in Deschutes County.

ROAD CLOSURES

A 57-mile section of Oregon Hwy 58 is now closed due to the Cedar Creek Fire. The closure points are at milepost 13 in Pleasant Hill and milepost 70 near Crescent Lake. The closed section includes Willamette Pass. People wishing to leave Oakridge can do so by driving west on Hwy 58 towards Eugene. Additionally, some Forest Service roads in the vicinity of the fire are closed, and forest officials urge people to stay out of the area.

Separately, a planned two-week closure of U.S. Hwy 20 east of Sweet Home for construction has been delayed until at least Sunday because of the high wind in the forecast.

POWER SHUTOFFS

Known as "Public Safety Power Shutoffs," the pre-emptive action is meant to reduce the chance of rapid wildfire spread during windy conditions. These shutoffs have been used in California, but have been rarely deployed in Oregon. The following list is from information provided to KLCC, or gleaned from utility websites, but may not be exhaustive. Some utilities have been notifying affected customers directly.

EWEB:

Power outages will impact about 3,000 customers east of Hayden Bridge up to Vida, including the following areas: Camp Creek and Upper Camp Creek, Cedar Flats, Deerhorn, Walterville

Lane Electric Cooperative:

Lane Electric Cooperative implemented a public safety power shutoff that is expected to last through Saturday evening. This outage is impacting nearly all members, with the city centers of Oakridge, Lowell, and Veneta remaining powered to provide key services. As of Saturday morning, nearly 2,300 customers were without power, including nearly 1,000 in Eugene.

Pacific Power:

The utility has designated areas in six western Oregon counties for possible shutoffs, including parts of Douglas, Linn, Marion, Polk, Lincoln and Tillamook Counties. Saturday morning, Pacific Power announced that "Overnight wind conditions materialized and peaked as forecasted." With that, the "Public Safety Shutoffs," were enacted. According to an outage map on its website, shutoffs are now affecting approximately 12,000 customers, including in the following areas:

Stayton east through the Santiam Canyon (2,953 Customers)
Sweet Home (5,982 Customers)
Scio (260 Customers)
Lincoln City (1,756 Customers)
Glide east along Umpqua Highway (1,066 Customers)

Pacific Power has also announced the opening of three "community resource centers" in areas that could be affected by power shutoffs. The centers will be open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday, unless power is restored sooner. The locations are:

Glide High School – 18990 N. Umpqua Highway, Glide
Bethel Baptist Church – 645 Cleveland Street, Aumsville
Sankey Park – 877 14th Ave, Sweet Home

"Based on current weather forecasts, we are beginning to patrol the system, removing any debris, and verifying the system is safe," the utility announced Saturday morning. "Once patrols are completed, we will begin the process of restoring service to customers. However, if repairs are needed, service restoration could last into the afternoon or evening. Customers will be notified when patrolling begins and will be notified when full restoration has occurred."

Consumers Power:

On Saturday morning, the utility said 522 of its customers were without power, mainly in the Scio and Lyons area. "Crews are on site and working to safely restore remaining outages," the utility said on its website. "Restoration is expected to be completed by this afternoon."

EPUD:

"EPUD currently has no plans to implement a proactive power shut off," the utility said on its website.

Portland General Electric:

Portland General Electric has implemented Public Safety Power Shutoffs in a dozen areas in its service region, which includes portions of Portland and the northern Willamette Valley. Power remains on for most of the immediate Portland metro area. The utility has a website with a listing and map of current outages.

Central Lincoln PUD:

"We are not planning any Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) at this time," the utility said on its website.

Springfield Utility Board:

"We are monitoring our system and weather conditions, and currently do not have plans to turn off power," the utility said on its website.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.
Related Content