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The Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County, pushed by high winds, exploded Sunday afternoon, forcing major evacuation efforts east and north of Brookings, and putting hundreds of homes at risk.
Mandatory evacuation orders was put into place for residences beginning at the intersection of Carpenterville Road and Highway 101, north to the Pistol River. Also told to get out now were residents of North Bank Chetco River Road from Joe Hall Creek, to Cameron Bridge … and South Bank Chetco River Road from Shady to Mt. Emily Road. Other areas were told to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.
The American Red Cross has relocated an emergency shelter to Riley Creek Elementary in Gold Beach. Information is available by calling 888-680-1455.
A community meeting will be held today at Brookings’ Azalea Middle School starting at 6 p.m. Fire officials will provide an update on fire activity, operations and evacuations.
The lightning-caused fire started back on July 12 and was thought to be relatively under control until last week, when it suddenly jumped fire lines and expanded rapidly. It has now consumed more than 70,000 acres.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed orders this past weekend that sent additional resources to battle the blaze, including four teams from around the state specifically tasked with protecting structures. It is not known if or how many structures have been lost.
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The Chetco Bar Fire east of Brookings is now officially declared a conflagration after it escaped fire lines Friday and forced the evacuation of residents in the area. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued the declaration this weekend, freeing up more resources to fight the blaze.
Some 300 residences were ordered evacuated by county officials Friday, with another 1,000 told be be ready at a moment’s notice Saturday and Sunday. Approximately 31,000 acres have burned.
Four task force teams from around the state have been mobilized, with their primary mission to protect structures. Because of this fire, and others in the region, air quality authorities are warning of higher levels of particles in the air, along with pockets of smoke up and down the coast.
In other news:
* The Great 2017 Solar Eclipse will roll through the region this morning, with Curry and Del Norte counties seeing about 90 percent totality as the moon blocks the sun. Maximum totality is expected to happen at 10:18, and the show should be done at 11:37 p.m. Do not look at the sun during the event unless you have special sunglasses, lest eye damage result.
* The Crescent City City Council will consider rescinding grant money awarded to Rural Human Service’s at tonight’s 6 o’clock meeting in the Flynn Center on H Street. Other agencies seeking the Community Development Block Grant funds will also examined. The council will also honor Rhyn and Sarah Noll for their community service