Oregon Fire Map, Update As Portland Now Has Worst Air Quality in the World

Wildfires in Oregon have burned over 940,950 acres, according to the latest report Thursday from Oregon's Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

The ongoing fires have caused unhealthy air quality levels across the state, including in Portland, its most populous city.

Portland was reported to have the worst air quality among nearly 100 major cities ranked by air quality monitoring website IQAir, a technology partner of the United Nations Environmental Program, UN Habitat and Greenpeace.

The website's data sources include over 6,000 local, national and regional institutions, including the U.S. Department of State and the European Environment Agency.

The air quality in Portland is currently considered "hazardous," with an AQI (air quality index) of 355, according to the latest report Thursday on AirNow.

When the air quality is deemed hazardous, "everyone should stay indoors and reduce activity levels," AirNow said.

The air quality was forecast to be "very unhealthy" for the rest of Thursday. "When the forecast is purple (very unhealthy), everyone needs to cut back on outdoor activities," AirNow warned.

Those with heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teens are advised to avoid physical activities outdoors, while everyone else is advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activities and to reduce physical activities to a minimum level.

"An air quality advisory remains in place for all of Oregon through Thursday September 17, 2020 with air quality near the fire area ranging from 'very unhealthy' to 'hazardous'," the Incident Information System of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) confirmed.

There are reported to be 26 active fires across Oregon, 12 of which are large fires, according to the latest report Wednesday by the National Interagency Fire Center.

Five of the current active fires in Oregon range from over 128,000 to 190,000 acres in size, according to the latest data from the OEM.

5:42 PM Tuesday, September 16: Here is a new snapshot of Oregon's wildfire dashboard, your official source for information about active wildfires. Find it here: https://t.co/kR2VOF2tHr#OregonFires2020 #OregonWildfires2020 #oregonfires #oregon #oregonwildfires pic.twitter.com/FKg6BTswly

— OregonOEM (@OregonOEM) September 17, 2020

Here are the latest updates for some of the current major fires in Oregon.

Beachie Creek Fire

  • Location: Marion and Clackamas counties
  • Acres: 191,238
  • Containment: 20 percent
  • Fatalities: 4

Fire activity remained mostly in the west, with some movement to the north and south. The blaze could potentially reach Kinney Creek to the south, as well as the Deadhorse Mountain, Battle Ax, Burnt Mountain, and Rooster Rock areas in the north, according to the latest report from the NWCG.

"Relative humidity recovery and a decrease in winds will moderate fire activity. Fire is expected to creep, smolder and actively back throughout the night.

"Increasing clouds, showers and thunderstorms are forecasted for this time period. Fire behavior is expected to remain minimal however if the frontal winds come before the moisture, fire activity will increase," the report noted.

Lionshead Fire

  • Location: Marion and Clackamas counties
  • Acres: 189,316
  • Containment: 10 percent

The fire continues to "actively burn near multiple communities," but "very little minimal growth is expected," according to the latest report Thursday by the NWCG.

Showers are expected Thursday along the northern Oregon Cascades region, with a few thunderstorms possible that could bring "brief heavy rain, small hail and gusty outflow winds," the report noted.

Roads and trails on the southwest portion of the Warm Springs Reservation remain closed, while forests are also closed in the Deschutes, Mount Hood and Willamette National Forest areas.

A Red Flag Warning is in place today in portions of Klamath, Lake, Siskiyou and Modoc Counties due to dry humidities and gusty winds These conditions may allow new or existing fires to spread rapidly. Follow all local fire restrictions.  Plan, Prepare and Stay Aware. #ORwx #CAwx pic.twitter.com/wr4EmURMFd

— NWS Medford (@NWSMedford) September 16, 2020

Holiday Farm

  • Location: Lane and Linn counties
  • Acres: 171,647.76
  • Containment: 10 percent
  • Fatalities: 1

The fire has destroyed at least 372 homes and 329 other structures, according to the latest data from the OEM.

A Level 3 evacuation order, which requires residents to "leave immediately," was issued for the area stretching "east of Holden Creek Road (milepost 19) to milepost 47, including all roads to the north and south of the highway (East and West King Road, Caddis Lane, Mill Creek north of Highway 126, and McKenzie River Drive west of the Community Center)," the Lane County website said.

Level 3 evacuation orders remain in place for various parts of Linn County, including Mill City, Gates, Idanha and the area from Marion Forks to the east Linn County line, according to the latest update Wednesday from the Linn County Sheriff's Office.

Gates Bridge East is closed for the next few days, while Highway 22 is closed eastbound at the intersection with Highway 226 and westbound at Idanha.

The Tillamook and Clatsop state forests re-open to the public Fri, 9/18 along with ODF-managed parcels in Columbia, Lincoln, Polk, and Benton counties. Know before you go about public use restrictions in the midst of an unprecedented fire season in Oregon: https://t.co/ubaQlhebmf pic.twitter.com/MuoxX8FfTC

— Oregon Forestry (@ORDeptForestry) September 17, 2020

Riverside Fire

  • Location: Clackamas County
  • Acres: 135,974
  • Containment: 6 percent

The fire is reported to be "burning in the down dead fuels under the closed canopies of the timber stringers and brushy drainages. As heat builds under the canopy, single and group torching will occur," according to the latest report Thursday by the NWCG.

Dense smoke with "deteriorating visibility and air quality" moved over portions of the fire area on Wednesday. The fire area is expected to remain dry over the next several days which, combined with record dry forest conditions, will allow the fire to "slowly creep in remote and backcountry areas such as the Roaring Fork Wilderness," the report added.

Evacuation orders are in place in parts of Clackamas County. See the county website for more information.

The Mount Hood National Forest, State Forests in Oregon, and large portions of Bureau of Land Management lands are closed, the NWCG report said.

Archie Creek Fire

  • Location: Douglas County
  • Acres: 128,020
  • Containment: 20 percent

The Archie Creek Fire has burned 62,623 acres of private lands, 24,300 acres of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) lands and 38,536 acres of the Oregon-Washington Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands, Oregon's KEZI reported Wednesday.

An additional 125 Oregon National Guard members have been deployed to help maintain containment lines and cover any hot spots.

The smoke was likely to be pushed from west to east on Wednesday but increased temperatures and decreased humidity could potentially raise fire activity, according to fire officials.

Some evacuation orders have been downgraded in parts of Douglas County. See the Douglas County Sheriff's Office website for details.

Other fires

  • Brattain Fire in Lake County: 40,308.35 acres; 20 percent contained
  • South Obenchain in Jackson County: 32,813.81 acres; 25 percent contained
  • Two Four Two in Klamath County: 19,282.83 acres; 29 percent contained
  • Thielsen Fire in Douglas County: 7,783.58 acres; 1 percent contained
Beachie Creek Fire Oregon September 2020
The melted sign of the Oak Park Motel destroyed by the Beachie Creek Fire in Gates, Oregon on September 13. The ongoing wildfires have seen the air quality reach a "hazardous" level in Portland, the state's most populous city. Rob Schumacher/Pool/AFP via Getty Images