Two large Oregon fires dissolve, and a third is close

The two largest fires burning in Oregon have merged, and a third are less than three miles away.

The Lionshead Fire – which had already joined the boundaries with the smaller P515 – and the Beechie Creek Fire have touched north of Detroit Lake. The encompassing fire was initially renamed Santium, but was then reverted to its original names.

The Riverside Fire is expected to soon merge with Beachy Creek.

The three fires merged will be over 450,000 acres. Heat can send embers flying long distances, possibly igniting new fires.

The mandatory evacuation zone for the three fires on Friday covered nearly 2,000 square miles and extended to the southeastern suburbs of Portland. It is shown in orange on the map above.

Clackamas County, which includes the cities of Sandy, Oregon City, Milwaukee and Lake Oswego, announced a curfew from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For the latest updates on evacuations, including warning areas, see the official map from Clackamas County, Marion County and Linn County.

Description of three fires:

  • Beachy Creek, August 16, started unknown cause. Three weeks after it began, it was on only 469 acres, but the historic wind gust of Monday, September 7, blew it to over 131,000 acres overnight. On September 11, it was 186,856 acres (291 square miles).
  • Lionshead / P515, Started 16 August by lightning. Before the wind gust, Lionshead was 18,615 acres and 31%; On September 11, it was 131,110 acres (205 sq mi) with 5% containment. P515 was connected to the eastern end of the major fire, which was 4,607 and 95% homogeneous.
  • River bank, Started September 8 from unspecified “human reason”. On September 11, it was 130,049 acres (206 sq mi).

Two other fires burning over 100,000 acres in Oregon:

  • Holiday farm, Started on 7 September and has burned 156,708 acres. On Friday September 11, it was 5 to 16 miles east of Interstate near Eugene.
  • Archie creekSearched and burned 115,857 acres on 8 September. It was 12 miles east of I-5 near Rosberg.

Kate Brown said more than 40,000 Oregonians have been evacuated and about 500,000 are in various levels of evacuation zones, either to leave or to prepare to do so. She was called back late Thursday night in a statement issued by the State Office of Emergency Management stating that one and a half million people had been ordered to evacuate statewide.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.