Wildfire smoke is creating some of the worst air quality in the world for Oregon cities, including Portland.
Metro area residents are noticing more smoke and evacuation notices are creeping closer to the city, as fires continue to burn through neighboring Clackamas County.
Residents of Estacada, Molalla and Colton are under Level 3 “Go Now!” evacuation advisories as of Friday evening; Oregon City, Canby, Sandy and Mount Hood are Level 2, which means they should be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Fire officials said Friday night that the Beachie Creek Fire — also known as the Santiam Fire — was responsible for four deaths, including two bodies that were found Friday, but weren’t immediately identified publicly.
Firefighters are preparing for the Beachie Creek Fire and the Riverside Fire to merge. They’ve cleared the area between the two blazes.
Multnomah County has yet to issue an evacuation order, but Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler closed all Portland parks and outdoor spaces and has declared an emergency.
In Medford, the Almeda Fire has claimed at least one life, authorities confirmed Friday. That brings the known death toll from the Oregon fires to six. The fire remained stable, though much of the city is still under a Level 3 evacuation order. The latest update Friday tallies the area burned at 3,574 acres, with 20% containment. But a few miles northeast, the Obenchain Fire expanded rapidly, and several small communities were placed under Level 3 evacuation orders.
The Holiday Farm Fire continues to burn near the Springfield/Eugene metro area. Reduced winds Thursday allowed crews to bring in heavy machinery to expand fire lines near Rainbow to the east and Springfield to the west. No new evacuation orders were issued Thursday.
All told, 900,000 acres have burned statewide, and more than 500,000 people are under some level of evacuation or pre-evacuation orders.
These online tools offer up-to-the-minute emergency information on wildfires, evacuations and air quality in the Pacific Northwest:
- Northwest fires, Oregon evacuations: Oregon’s RAPTOR Map shows wildfires across the U.S. West and evacuation zones within the state. Enter an address to quickly zoom in on a specific location. It’s slow to load, so prepare for a brief wait before the map appears.
- Major Oregon and Washington fires: The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, which coordinates firefighters across the region, shares this map of major fires in the Pacific Northwest
- Air Quality Index: Enter a zip code, town or address for the latest local air quality readings.
- BlueSky Canada has an interactive map showing wildfire smoke forecasts across the Pacific Northwest, including Oregon and Washington.
- Here are some practical tips — including a packing list — on how to prepare for a wildfire evacuation.
- PublicAlerts.org provides links to sign up for emergency phone and email alerts across the Portland-Vancouver metro area. Scroll to find your local jurisdiction.
- Outside the greater Portland metro area, alerts are handled by local governments. Search “Emergency Alerts” and your county’s name to find a link.