The advancing Chetco Bar fire prompted evacuations of some Illinois Valley residents Monday afternoon.
All residents on Illinois River Road within the U.S. Forest Service boundaries, including the Oak Flats community, were placed on a Level 3 — go now — notice, according to a news release from the Illinois Valley Fire Department. The Forest Service has closed that road to traffic.
A Level 1 — "get ready" — advisory remains in effect for residents of the Illinois Valley west of Highway 199 from Hayes Hill to the California border.
The lightning-sparked blaze that has been burning in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness had grown to 142,857 acres Monday and was advancing east toward the Illinois Valley.
Fire behavior was reportedly "very active" in several spots around the perimeter, fueled by persistent hot temperatures and low humidity levels, according to the Incident Information System website. The fire spotted over U.S. Forest Service Road No. 1983, burning its way into the Wheeler Creek drainage. A smoke column grew to nearly 23,000 feet in height.
Later in the day, Curry County residents Carpenterville Road from Bosely Butte to the intersection of Cape Ferrelo Road, also received a Level 3 advisory. An interactive map showing evacuation levels for the region can be viewed online at https://goo.gl/keU1PZ.
There are more than 1,600 personnel assigned to the fire, which is considered 10 percent contained.
Air quality for much of Jackson and Josephine counties remains impacted by wildfire smoke because of the numerous blazes burning across the region.
Ashland, Medford and Cave Junction air station 24-hour readings were at "unhealthy," while Grants Pass and Provolt were at "very unhealthy," according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's Air Quality Index. Shady Cove's station registered at "unhealthy for sensitive groups."
The lightning-sparked Miller Fire Complex, which started in the Applegate 17 miles east of Cave Junction, was 17,965 acres in size Monday, with an estimated 35 percent containment. There are 616 personnel assigned to it.
The following areas remain under a Level 2 (Be Set) evacuation notice:
• The Kinney Creek Road (1090 Road) and Palmer Creek Road.
• Both sides of Upper Applegate Road from Palmer Creek Road to the Applegate Dam Spillway (this includes Bolder City).
• Beaver Creek Road (Jackson County) from its junction with Upper Applegate Road east for approximately a mile.
The following areas remain under a Level 1 (Be Ready) evacuation notice:
• Carberry Creek Road from Applegate Road up to and including Steamboat Ranch.
• Palmer Creek Road/Applegate Road intersection north to 7449 Applegate Road and Eastside Road from Upper Applegate Road north to 2874 Eastside Road.
• South from Applegate Dam Spillway around all of Applegate Lake (1/8 mile buffer around water to include all private property), including French Gulch. The following recreation sites are included: Hart-tish, Harr Pt, Watkins, Tipsu Tyee, Latgawa Cove and Stringtown campgrounds, and Carberry picnic ground.
The High Cascades Complex, burning near Crater Lake, is 37,800 acres and 26 percent contained. Hot, dry weather caused firefighters to pull back from containment lines on the complex's Paradise, Broken Lookout, Windy Gap and Blanket Creek fires.
A Level 1 evacuation advisory remains in effect for the Union Creek area because of the Broken Lookout fire. A Level 1 advisory also remains in effect for Mazama Village in Crater Lake National Park.
— Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or email@example.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.