Deception Complex jumps lines, residents prep to evacuate near Oakridge
OAKRIDGE, Ore. -- The Deception Complex fire grew by nearly 1,800 acres on Wednesday, sending up smoldering debris that sparked numerous spot fires near homes outside Oakridge.
The spreading wildfire prompted evacuations for the Middle Fork Ranger Station and some people living in the Deception Creek Mobile Home Park and along La Duke Road near Westfir.
Those areas were scaled back to a level 2 evacuation notice for Thursday, meaning residents should "get set" to leave should the fires flare up again.
Willamette National Forest officials said those spot fires were quickly extinguished and no structures were lost.
A structural protection group of firefighters was assigned to secure homes along La Duke and Harbour Roads.
Smoke from the Deception Complex spread as far away as Bend. Forestry officials said the smoky conditions are expected to stick around for several days.
Air tankers dropped nearly 15,700 gallons of fire retardant on the fire. Six helicopters also worked in dropping buckets of water on the blaze until they were grounded by the heavy smoke.
The Lane County Sheriff's Office is standing by should the evacuations be raised to level 3 again. LCSO emergency manager Linda Cook said they are offering evacuees shelter through the Red Cross, an animal assistance trailer for pets and Ride Source transportation. Those within the pre-evacuation areas have a pre-planned door-to-door notification.
Ground crews and air support tankers are working west of Highway 58 to protect structures as the fire advances.
McHugh said employees were asked to leave the Middle Fork Ranger District office, which is also near the Deception Complex.
Deception Crk fire moves towards Hwy 58. Level 2 (Get set) evacuation notice for residents of Deception Crk Mobile Park & LaDuke/Harbour
WillametteNatlForest (@willametteNF) August 28, 2014
From the Willamette National forest:
"The fire weather forecast for tomorrow, while calling for slighter cooler temperatures and higher humidity's is not significantly different from today's in terms of expected fire behavior. Crews remain on the ready to suppress fires as necessary. This evening, crews and equipment from Oregon Department of Forestry, Lane County, the City of Oakridge and the Willamette National Forest all responded to the emerging situation in Westfir. Residents of the Deception Creek Mobile Park and LaDuke/Harbour Roads remain on level 2 evacuation notice."
This is a developing story, updates will be posted as information comes in.