The National Interagency Fire Center has now labeled the Chetco Bar Fire burning in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest near Brookings, Oregon, the “top priority fire” in the country.
The fire is burning 98,000 acres and is 0 percent contained.
Firefighting resources are thin nationwide, and the “top priority” designation gives fire officials a better chance of getting the additional resources they need when they ask for it.
Smoke and fog from the wildfire prevented aircraft from working on the fire. It also obstructed the view of Monday’s Great American Eclipse.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Growing wildfires prompted several new evacuation orders across the state Monday.
Residents in some areas near the 70,000-acre Chetco Bar fire in the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest were told to leave their homes immediately as the fire rapidly spread.
Here’s what you need to know about major wildfires in the state:
The wildfire spurred new level 3 (Go now) evacuation orders as it continued to grow Monday. Residents in the area between the intersection of Carpenterville Road and U.S. 101, the Pistol River and the Pacific Ocean should leave immediately, officials said. Previously issued level 3 evacuation orders remain in place.
The fire moved west rapidly as it grew on its north end, threatening more than 3,000 homes Monday morning, according to the Northwest Interagency Communications Center. It has already destroyed two.
Portland Fire and Rescue crews responded to an early-morning house fire Tuesday morning.
According to PF&R, crews responded to a residence at North Fiske Avenue and North Butler Street at 4:51 a.m. and found heavy fire in the back of the home and detached garage.
Firefighters said the blaze appeared to start on the back porch before extending to the first and second floors and the garage.
Crews were able to contain the fire within 15 minutes. The three people living in the home, along with their dog, were able to get out of the house without injury.
KPTV-TV Fox 12 Beaverton
Bend Fire Department set a record last month for average response times: 5 minutes and 28 seconds. The city’s goal is 6 minutes and 15 seconds.
One month of good response times is nothing to celebrate if people are dying, or if the city’s response times get worse. But with total call volume going up about 10 percent a year, keeping response times low is important, because it can save lives.
Bend Fire Chief Larry Langston told us it can be critical to get to a heart attack patient within 6 minutes.
An EMT with American Medical Response (AMR), dies after he fell into the Illinois River.
The incident happened on Wednesday when Illinois Valley Fire District and AMR responded to a report of a traumatic injury near the swinging bridge on Illinois River Road.
IVFD say, bystanders performed CPR until medical crews arrived on scene.
Emergency personnel took over life saving procedures and placed a request for a Mercy Flight. Despite efforts by both bystanders and emergency crews they were unsuccessful in saving the patient. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The patient was later identified as David Struewing, 24, a previous volunteer firefighter and EMT for the Illinois Valley Fire District and off duty EMT.
KTVL-TV Channel 10
In Central Oregon right now, as wildfires rage, four U.K.-based firefighters who came to learn more about fighting woodland fires have been helping with eclipse preparedness, too.
David Hodge, a firefighter for over 27 years, says he and his colleagues are happy to be part of the process. "During the eclipse, two of the firefighters will be embedded here to deal with local emergencies with the Sisters / Camp Sherman personnel, and the two officers - myself and my colleague - we're going to be embedded within the Multi-Agency Command Center at Redmond during the period of the eclipse, so we'll be starting that from tomorrow until Tuesday."
Hodge, who's visiting Bend on the Firefighter Exchange Program for the second time, says they came to Central Oregon at this time of year because of the eclipse preparedness that's going on.