The two largest fires burning in Oregon have merged and a third is less than three miles away.
The Lionshead fire – which had already reached limits with the smaller P515 – and the Beachie Creek fire hit each other, north of Lake Detroit. The attached fire was originally renamed Santiam, but was later returned to its original names.
The Riverside Fire is expected to merge with Beachie Creek soon.
The three amalgamated fires would cover over 450,000 acres. The heat could send the embers flying long distances, which could start new fires.
On Friday, the mandatory evacuation zone for the three fires covered nearly 2,000 square miles and extended to the southeastern suburbs of Portland. It is marked in orange on the map above.
Clackamas County, which includes the towns of Sandy, Oregon City, Milwaukie and Lake Oswego, has declared a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
For the latest updates on evacuations, including warning zones, check out the official maps of Clackamas County and Marion County.
Details of the three fires:
- Beachie creek, began on August 16, cause unknown. Three weeks after it started, it was just 469 acres, but the historic windstorm of Monday, September 7 whipped it overnight to over 131,000 acres. On September 11, it was 186,856 acres (291 square miles).
- Lionshead / P515, began on August 16 lightning. Before the windstorm, Lionshead had 18,615 acres and 31% containment; on September 11, it was 131,110 acres (205 square miles) with a 5% containment. P515, connected to the eastern tip of the big fire, was 4,607 and 95% containment.
- Riverside, began on September 8 from an unspecified “human cause”. As of September 11, it was 130,049 acres (206 square miles).
Two other fires of more than 100,000 acres are burning in Oregon:
- Holiday farm, began Sept. 7 and burned 156,708 acres. On Friday, September 11, he was 16 miles east of Interstate 5 near Eugene.
- Archie creek, discovered on September 8 and burned 115,857 acres. It was 12 miles east of I-5 near Roseburg.
Governor Kate Brown said more than 40,000 Oregonians had been evacuated and about 500,000 were in different levels of evacuation zones, either after being ordered to leave or preparing to do so. She recalled on Thursday a statement released by the state’s Emergency Management Office that half a million people had been ordered to evacuate statewide.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.