A Level 2 evacuation notice has been issued to residents living near the South Umpqua Complex as the blaze continues to burn about 45 miles southeast of Roseburg.
Level 2, also known as a “SET” evacuation notice, means there is “significant danger” in the area and residents should either voluntarily relocate or be ready to evacuate at a moments notice, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
The notice was given to residents living between 1642 and 3200 Tison Road, which is a small segment of road south of Drew, Oregon, that splits east from Tiller Trail Highway. According to the U.S. Forest Service, six residences are affected by the notice.
By Friday morning, the fires have burned more than 1,500 acres.
The acreage, gathered Thursday through an infrared flight, more than tripled the U.S. Forest Service’s initial estimate of 300 acres.
The largest fire, dubbed the Miles Fire, is burning 300 acres near Hawk Mountain and Tison Road. Two smaller fires, the Columbus Fire and the HD Fire are within a half mile from burning together to form a 200-acre fire within the complex, although it is anticipated that old fireline from last year’s High Cascades Complex will be re-opened to contain the blaze.
Operations Chief Vince Grace said there aren’t many containment opportunities for firefighters in the rough and steep terrain east of the fire.
“This fire will be around for a while,” Grace said in a press release.
All told, the South Umpqua Complex, which is estimated to have started on July 15 due to lightning, is just 8 percent contained.
The fire is putting private land, homes, Pacific Power electrical lines, two campgrounds, and several historical areas at risk.
More than 580 people have responded to help contain the fires.
Officials say two community events — a powwow hosted by The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians and a community garage sale and art fair — are taking place this weekend in the area and attendees should stay alert while traveling.