SIT REP 1 | SEPTEMBER 16, 2020

Photo Credit | Beachie Creek Fire Facebook page


The BEACHIE CREEK FIRE is burning about one mile near the RIVERSIDE FIRE which has prompted some concerns from residents and Fire Officials about these two fires merging into one super firestorm.   With extreme dry vegetation and a lack of natural holding features in the Table Rock Wilderness and surrounding area to keep the two fires from merging are on the mind of a lot of people with this fire catching the attention of many.

Officials are working to stop that from happening.

The BEACHIE CREEK FIRE ignited on August 16, 2020 from an unknown cause burning on the Willamette National Forest in the Opal Creek Wilderness area and about 15 miles north of Detroit (Marion County), Oregon.

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Photo Credit | Marion County Sheriff’s Office


Fire has burned approximately 190,911 acres of timber and logging slash. Crews have reached a 20% containment status.  It’s fire behavior remains at moderate with backing, creeping and isolated torching.

Currently, there are 13,551 homes and other structures are threatened which have prompted evacuations in effect.

Marion County Evacuation Zones –>

Level 3 Evacuations –> GO NOW!

  • Detroit, Idanha, Breitenbush, Mill City, Gates, Hwy 22 east of Hwy 226 and North Rd north of Hwy 22.

Level 2 Evacuations –> BE SET

  • Lyons, Mehama west of Hwy 226, Fernridge Rd west of Shellburg Creek Rd to Basil Hill, Crooked Finger Rd and Moss Lane.

Level 1 Evacuations –> GET READY

  • Scott Mills, areas east of Meridian Rd, Davis Creek and Victor Point south to the Marion County Line.

Closures are in effect for all recreational areas including campgrounds, trails and day-use areas, boat ramps in the following areas:

  • Willamette National Forest lands
  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands
  • OR State lands
  • OR Department of Forestry (ODF) lands, including the Santiam State Forest

Recovery efforts are being coordinated by this incident Command and with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, along with Oregon DOT and Oregon State Patrol along the Santiam Canyon.    About 5,845 structures are still in a Level 3 evacuation order, while 3,961 are under a Level 2.


What is a ‘burn-out’? Does this mean you’ll be putting more fire on the ground? How would that help? If you’ve asked these questions you’re not alone. Our intent with this special update is to help folks understand what’s what and increase your understanding of what this means out on the ground.
A firefighter’s style of ‘burn-out’ has nothing to do with tires, race cars, or cheering fans. In the world of wildland firefighting, a burn-out is defined as intentionally putting fire inside a control line to consume fuel (brush, logs, grass) between the edge of the fire and the control line to create a buffer of burned area around the edge of the fire to help secure the area. This strategy ‘starves’ the fire of fuel and allows our hardworking engines and crews to engage the fire on their terms.
Burnouts will help limit the fire’s spread towards communities. So while you may see more fire or smoke, it’s our hard working crews doing their best to keep you safe today, tomorrow, and for the future.
We appreciate your understanding as we continue to limit new fire growth, protect communities, and safely engage the fire with our partners.
– Beachie Creek Fire Officials
Fire management is under Unified Command with NW Team 13 (Gales) and IMT2 OSFM Green (Hallman) with SW Team 2, IMT 1 (Pierson) shadowing on today, but was transferred to a SW IMT this evening.

Approximately 530 personnel along with 11 crews, 43 engines and 7 helicopters are assigned.

W/NW Operations:  Crews continue to connect and strengthen control lines.

SE Operations:  Crews are continuing to work with landowners to secure control lines.


The fire has damaged 46 homes and 88 other structures, while destroying 470 homes and 818 other structures.  A record of 1,288 structures have been lost.

Total cost-to-date for fire suppression and containment status expenses have reached a total of $7,600,000.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 9/16/2020 2305 PT