Smokey skies cause multiple emergency calls overnight


Throughout the Siuslaw region, residents are waking up to smoke-filled skies this morning following a change in wind that brought smoke from wildfires in the Blue River and Detroit Lake area into the region.

In addition, strong wind gusts caused multiple issues with power lines in the area, from downed trees to arcing lines caused by swaying branches. Between approximately 9:45 and 10:45 p.m. last night, first responders received more than a dozen calls ranging from reports of house fires to brushfires as residents jammed the 9-1-1 line.

By a little after 11 p.m., it had been determined that there were no house fires and no brush fires in the immediate area, but downed power lines created power outages in some areas. Then, a little after midnight, reports of a brush fire up Highway 36 near milepost 7 proved to be true, along with a low-hanging power line across the highway. The fire grew to a little over 1 acre as fire crews from Swisshome/Deadwood Fire, Mapleton Fire, Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue and the Oregon Department of Forestry fought to contain the blaze as it spread up the hill toward Village Loop residences.

A Level 3 (Go) evacuation notice was given around 1 a.m., but by 3 a.m. the fire had been essentially extinguished, allowing residents to return home. Crews continued mop up to prevent flare-up into this morning.

Currently, there are no reports of fires but issues with downed power lines continue. Winds are expected to continue through at least Thursday, creating unhealthy air conditions in the area.

In the meantime, residents are asked to refrain from calling 9-1-1 due to smoke, unless fire or flames are visible.

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