Overnight Wednesday (Sept. 2), firefighters successfully completed a burnout operation in the northwest corner of the Sweet Creek Milepost 2 Fire. The operation helped secure that corner of the fire by removing about 10 acres of unburned fuels between the fire perimeter and established fire line.
Elsewhere on the fire, crews kept water flowing as they continued to search the area grid for hot spots and complete mop up operations. As of this morning (Sept. 3), the fire is now 30 percent contained. Today, crews will be looking for — and responding to — spots outside of the line as they continue mopping up interior portions of the fire.
Two type 1 helicopters will also join the effort, increasing capacity to deliver water from the air.
Speaking at the morning briefing, Operations Section Chief Mike Carlson asked crews to be “slow, productive and safe” as they complete the methodical work of locating and extinguishing hot spots. Fallers have removed hazard trees near the fire line, but rolling debris and steep terrain continue to present safety concerns for firefighters.
As the Labor Day weekend approaches, traffic is anticipated to increase through Mapleton along Highway 126, creating additional hazards for drivers and fire personnel. Fire managers and local officials are reminding travelers to allow extra time, to drive slowly and be cautious of fire personnel traffic.
The Incident Management Team held a virtual community meeting at 7 p.m. last night, which was livestreamed on the incident’s Facebook page @sweetcreekmp2fire. For those who missed the meeting, a recording remains available on Facebook.
Be aware that Lane County closed Sweet Creek Road to all public traffic as of Wednesday due to the danger of loose and falling debris along the steep hillside related to the fire. An alternate route is available.
In addition, the Siuslaw River is also closed to boat traffic from the Highway 126 Bridge in Mapleton to Tiernan Landing, making it available for helicopters to safely draw water. Evacuations remain in place on Hadsall Creek (Level 3: GO!), Sweet Creek Rd (Level 2: Be Set!) and Bernhardt Creek Rd and Duncan Island Road (Level 1: Be Ready!).
The Red Cross is providing accommodations for those affected by the fire.
To make emergency arrangements call 888-680-1455. For more information about evacuations and closures, visit https://www. lanecounty.org/news/sweetcreekfires