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Sheriff's office issues Level 1 'Be Ready' evacuation due to Milepost 97 Fire

The sheriff's office announced on Friday night that they are issuing Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation notices for all residences on the west side of the freeway between Interstate 5 mileposts 88-83.

Posted: Jul 26, 2019 3:54 PM
Updated: Jul 31, 2019 11:18 AM

CANYONVILLE, Ore. -- The sheriff's office announced on Friday night that they are issuing Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation notices for all residences on the west side of the freeway between Interstate 5 mileposts 88-83. 

Included in the notice are residences on:

• Barton Road
• Azalea-Glen Road
• Old Booth Lane
• Harrel Lane
• Hobbs Lane
• Fortune Branch Road on the Azalea-Glen side
• Forrest Road
• Realty Road
• Quines Creek Road
• Mobley Drive

Residences off of Upper Cow Creek Road starting at Interstate 5 milepost 88, east to the base of Galesville Dam, are also included.

Level 1 "Be Ready" means to be ready for the potential to evacuate, have a "go kit" ready, have an evacuation plan for your family and pets and be fire-wise and create a defensible space around your home.

The Milepost 97 Fire near Canyonville grew to 6,000 acres by Friday afternoon, the Douglas Forest Protection Association said. That's up from their last update of 1,650 acres Friday morning. The fire is 0% contained.

DFPA officials said the fire, which is burning one mile southeast of Canyonville near Interstate 5 southbound, could take weeks to contain and control. Canyonville is not immediately threatened by the fire, as it is moving south and southwest away from the city.

The fire is burning through private industrial timberlands, O&C Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and lands held in trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the Cow Creek Tribe.

Crews are currently attacking the fire from the ground and the air with seven helicopters, two large air tankers and two single-engine air tankers supporting firefighters on the ground. Additional resources are on their way, DFPA officials said.

RELATED: MILEPOST 97 FIRE AT 1,650 ACRES

The Oregon Department of Forestry's Incident Management Team 3 arrived in Roseburg Friday afternoon and will take command of the fire response at 6 p.m.

The southbound I-5 off-ramp at Exit 95 (Canyon Creek), located three miles south of Canyonville, was closed Thursday due to the fire and was expected to remain closed. For the latest road conditions, click here. Drivers in the area should use caution.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office issued a Level 3 "Go" evacuation order at about 7:20 Thursday night, which applied to Canyonville residents in the 100 to 300 blocks of Ritchie Road. Local fire departments are providing structural resources and fire protection to the three homes affected.

A Level 2 "Be Set" notice was issued at about 7 p.m., escalating from the Level 1 "Be Ready" notice that was issued at about 3:30 p.m.

"There's been investigators on scene of the fire last night and the preliminary investigation indicates the fire was most likely caused by an illegal campfire," said Kyle Reed with DFPA.

Crews from the Douglas Forest Protective Association and Canyonville -- South Umpqua Fire Department responded to the fire at 10 p.m. on Wednesday. They had containment lines around the bottom half of the fire and continued to work on the fire, which at the time was said to be 25% contained.

Douglas Forest Protective Association officials said fire activity picked up Thursday as temperatures grew hotter. They had five helicopters working on the fire that day. At the time, fire officials said the fire was burning uphill and not toward Canyonville.

The fire is actively burning in a old fire scar from the 1980s, where there is a significant amount of standing dead trees with heavy brush beneath them. Officials said the terrain is steep and rocky.

Falling trees, rolling rocks and strong winds are presenting challenges to firefighters in their efforts to contain the blaze, and one firefighter was transported to the hospital for a heat-related illness.

The Douglas Forest Protective Association said additional resources were then requested from the Tri-City Rural Fire Department, Riddle Rural Fire Department, Myrtle Creek Rural Fire Department and contract hand crews.

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