Evacuation orders for all of Clackamas County were lifted Tuesday morning — except for parts of the National Forest — a major step toward a return to normalcy after raging wildfires earlier this month forced thousands to flee their homes.
The announcement came from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office shortly after 10 a.m. that all evacuation areas had been eliminated and returned to normal throughout Clackamas County, except in parts of the U.S. National Forest.
The U.S. National Forest is closed in the Clackamas River District, and there are partial closures to the Zig Zag Ranger District.
The announcement also meant the effective end of the countywide curfew, which was not addressed specifically in the release from the sheriff’s office, but had only been in effect for level 3 evacuation zones.
Containment estimates for the Riverside Fire, which has burned more than 138,000 acres in Clackamas County, was raised to 37% Tuesday. Containment is at 37%. Warm and dry conditions with less breezy winds were expected as a high-pressure system remains over the fire area.
The Wilhoit, Unger, Dowty Road and Graves Creek fires, which have collectively burned more than 2,584 acres, were 97% contained as of Tuesday. The Clackamas County Fires Incident Management Team planned to transition the management of these fires to local units from the Oregon Department of Forestry local units by Tuesday.
Smoldering, some creeping and isolated smoking fire activity is expected within the fire perimeter, incident commanders said. Vegetation is drying out because of the warmer and drier conditions, but Riverside is not expected to spread, thanks to the work of fire crews over the past couple of weeks as well as the recent precipitation.
Firefighters are focused on patrolling, monitoring and mop-up along fire lines. Patrolling by firefighters is meant to address dangerous, fire-weakened trees and vegetative debris smoldering near structures and fire lines.
Heavy equipment work continues along roads with chippers and masticators to improve existing containment and contingency fire lines on the south and west side of Riverside, officials said.
Despite the recent rains and cooler temperatures, it’s still fire season in Oregon and regulated-use closures are still in effect for lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in Clackamas, Marion, and Linn counties.
Backyard burning is prohibited until Sept. 30. See canbyfire.org/burn-information or call 503-266-1195 for the latest restrictions.
@fire_riverside update (9/29): Containment is at 37%. Warm & dry conditions with less breezy winds, as a high pressure system remains over the fire area. Smoldering, some creeping, & isolated smoking fire activity is expected w/in fire perimeter. #RiversideFire @clackamascounty pic.twitter.com/tLITdgYHJG
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