Douglas County residents heard from fire officials battling the Milepost 97 fire at a community meeting at Glendale High School on Sunday night. Attendees were briefed on the progress that’s been made as well as the next plan of attack to bring the more than 11-thousand-acre blaze under control.
The fire was started by an illegal campfire on Wednesday, July 24th. As of Sunday night, the fire was at 10% containment and burning in steep, rocky terrain that is posing additional challenges for fire crews.
Patrick Skrip with the Douglas Forest Protective Association says the fire is burning in land managed by the Cow Creek Tribe, State Forest land, private industry areas, and Bureau of Land Management O & C Lands. Skrip told the audience many critical resources and infrastructure are within the fire’s path, including a drinking water intake for Canyonville, emergency communications systems for lane county, a natural gas pipeline, and power lines.
More than 12-hundred personnel are working on the fire, including 48 hand crews, 45 dozers, 2 single engine air tankers, and 13 helicopters. Night time infrared flights are being used to determine where fire resources should be focused and to get updated size and containment numbers.
Evacuation orders are still in place for many areas around the fire’s perimeter. Level 2 “Be Ready” orders were issued by the Douglas County Sherriff on Saturday for all homes on the west side of the freeway between mileposts 88 and 83, and off of Upper Cow Creek Road starting at I-5 milepost 88, east to the base of Galesville Dam. 586 structures are threatened by the fire.
A Level 1 "Be Ready" notice is also in effect issued for all residents living on Windy Creek Road at and above Woods Creek Road. Barton Road south to Glendale Junction Road.
Meanwhile travelers on southbound I-5 are experiencing slowdowns and standstill traffic as travel is reduced to a single lane between mileposts 97 to 95, about two miles south of Canyonville. The northbound and southbound off-ramps at exit 95 (Canyon Creek) remain closed.
Residents in the area of the fire are urged to monitor official sources for the latest fire information. Information can be found at: