Chetco Bar Fire containment down 5 percent

Chetco Bar Fire, August 30, 2017. (Sheriff John Ward) 

[UPDATE] A community briefing has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 6th, at Brookings-Harbor High School located on 625 Pioneer Rd in Brookings starting at 6:00 p.m.

Firefighters will continue to hold an improve existing containment lines while working on extinguishing spot fires.

They will also improving and reopening fire lines constructed 15 years ago during the Biscuit Fire and opening roads to use as containment lines.

Crews will also strategically burn vegetation between the main fire and containment lines with careful consideration of the weather, terrain.

Most of the work on the east side has been done by dozers. On Tuesday, three small task forces will work on protecting nearby homes. An incident management team will be arriving in the next few days to take command of the east side of the fire.

On Monday, a number of spot fires were ignited by embers flying across containment lines. The east side of the fire pushed south and 4.5 miles that caused the evacuation levels on Illinois River Rd to increase from a level 2 (SET) to a level 3 (GO). Better visibility allowed additional air resources including a heavy helitanker to help with firefighting operations. More progress was made on Illinois River Rd were crews were able to wrap 80 percent of homes in that area.

The weather is expected to improve over the next few days despite the rise in humidity. Winds from the south will help clear smoke during the afternoon hours. Moisture is expected to move into the area particularly on Wednesday and Thursday. There maybe a chance of thunderstorms on Wednesday. There is a chance for an active fire day on Tuesday. Spot fires, crown runs, and spot fires can ignite up to a three tenths of a mile from the main fire.

The fire has spread to 176,000 acres and has been reduced from 10 to 5 percent containment. Fire crews say, a large contributing factor to the spread is the shifting winds particularly to the northwest.


Brookings and Gold Beach ares will have moderate and smoke impacts through the afternoon before heavy smoke sinks back overnight. Cave Junction will continue to see heavy smoke throughout the day and into the evening. Coastal areas will get a small break as southwest will drift smoke inland.

Check current smoke conditions on the Oregon Smoke Blog:


In Josephine County, a level 3 (GO!) evacuation is in place for all residents on Illinois River Rd within the Forest Service boundaries, including the Oak Flat community. In Curry County, a level 3 is in place for Carpenterville Rd, north of the Cape Ferrelo Rd intersection to Carpenterville Road and Bosley Butte Road intersection.

A level 1 (BE READY) is in place for residents of the Illinois Valley west of Highway 199 from Hayes to the California state line.

Residents are asked to monitor the evacuation map for changes:


The Red Cross has moved the evacuation center to the Curry County Fairgrounds showcase building 29392 Ellensburg Avenue will be relocating to Nazarene Church 1600 Chetco Ave in Brookings, OR (541)-600-6068.

A second has been set up by the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation is also operating a shelter at The Xaa-wan'-k'wvt Village & Resort (old Ship Ashore) RV Park located at 12370 Highway 101 North in Smith River.


Several large wildfires are burning in southwest Oregon. Area closures have been implemented on the Rogue River – Siskyou National Forest and BLM lands. Fire restrictions are in place:

This story will be updated throughout the day with additional information as it becomes available.

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