Mapleton wildfire 'a big shock to the community'

Multiple agencies, using ground and air resources, are fighting the fire.

Posted: Aug 31, 2020 11:22 AM
Updated: May 3, 2021 1:23 PM

MAPLETON, Ore. – Firefighters are continuing to fight a wildfire near Mapleton on Monday. It has grown to 500 acres, officials said.

Oregon Department of Forestry officials said the fire is burning in steep terrain in private forestland on the south side of the Siuslaw River. It is moving south away from Mapleton, which is about one mile northwest from the fire.

KEZI 9 News talked to several people who are being affected by the fire. Resident Noah Wilson said when the wildfire started, it was "a big shock to the community."

Multiple evacuation orders are in place. Eight homes are under a Level 3 "Go" evacuation order in the area of Hadsell Creek Road, and 24 homes are under a Level 2 "Get Set" evacuation order in the area of Sweet Creek Road.

Monday afternoon, officials said a Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation notice has also been issued for homes in the area of Bernhardt Creek Road and Duncan Island Road. Under this order, residents should be aware of the danger and prepare for a possible evacuation. Those who have a special circumstance should evacuate as a precautionary measure.

An emergency shelter has been set up at the Siuslaw Middle School in Florence.

For more information about evacuations and other concerns related to the wildfire, click here.

RELATED: LARGE BRUSH FIRES IN MAPLETON PROMPT LEVEL 3 EVACUATION NOTICE

Fire crews are being aided by six bulldozers, five water tenders, an excavator and a processor. Firefighters are working to reinforce control lines that they dug on Sunday.

Two helicopters are transporting water from the Siuslaw River to drop on the fire.

The public is asked to avoid the area downstream from Mapleton in the Hadsall Creek Road area, where the helicopters are refilling. People should also avoid the Sweet Creek Road area because of heavy firefighting traffic.

Recreational boating has also been closed on the Siuslaw River between the Highway 126 bridge in Mapleton downstream to Tiernan Landing. It will be in place from Sept. 1 through Sept. 13 as a result of fire suppression efforts and road closures in the area.

The Mapleton Fire Department, Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue, and Swisshome-Deadwood Rural Fire Protection District are helping, as well as Lane County Emergency Management, Lane County Road Department, Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Department of Transportation, and the USDA Forest Service.

An ODF incident management team will be taking command of the fire at 6 p.m., freeing up local resources to focus on any new fires that may happen in the coming days.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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