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Bedrock Fire near Fall Creek keeps growing, challenging fire crews

The Bedrock Fire had grown to 7,156 acres as of Thursday morning.
Courtesy of Bedrock Fire 2023 on Facebook
The Bedrock Fire had grown to 7,156 acres as of Thursday morning.

Update: Friday, July 28, 2023:
You can check your air quality at airnow.gov.

The Bedrock Fire east of Eugene continued to burn actively Thursday.

It’s at 8,152 and growing to both the north and south in the Fall Creek area of the Willamette National Forest.

Unusually dry fuels are feeding the fire. Officials say vegetation is drier than normal for this time of year, more like what’s found in late August.

Smoke from the Bedrock Fire continues to spread toward Central Oregon where some areas are experiencing “unhealthy” air quality.

It started last Saturday, July 22, near Fall Creek.

Public Information Officer Erin Phillips told KLCC that very hot, dry weather has pushed the fire, which has grown roughly 1,000 acres a day. Crews are working to suppress the fire and keep it off nearby private land.

The Forest Service has closedall lands, roads, trails, and recreation sites around the fire to the public.

Phillips said the closures are for safety.

“Obviously, fire is pretty unpredictable,” she said. “We would hate for anything to happen to members of the public. As well as if members of the public are in the area, that could disrupt fire traffic. So, we’re really asking people to stay out of the area for their safety as well as for the safety of our firefighters.”

Fall Creek Lake and Lookout Point Lake are being used for dipping and drafting operations to battle the Bedrock Fire.

Incident officials request the public avoid these areas for their safety as well as that of the aircraft.

The fire continues to send smoke toward Bend. An air quality advisory has been extended until Monday for east Lane County and Central Oregon.

Copyright 2023 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.