UPDATED: Lane on Highway 138 has reopened as firefighting efforts continue
The stretch of Highway 138 closed overnight in Douglas County while crews fought a fast-moving wildfire nearby has reopened.
The Oregon Department of Transportation reported traffic will still be limited to a single lane, however, and that motorists will be guided with pilot cars and flag crews. Delays and additional intermittent closures are expected throughout the day.
The other traffic lane will remain closed to aid cleanup efforts as crews from the Douglas Forest Protective Association continue to beat back the flames on the Cable Crossing fire, located about six miles east of Glide. Cleanup efforts include the removal of several hazardous trees along the road.
Highway 138 remained closed overnight, with roadblocks at both ends to assist with traffic turnarounds, according to ODOT.
DFPA officials reported the fire has grown to an estimated 270 acres in size. A revised, more concrete estimate will be available later today when crews use a GPS to measure the fire perimeter. Firefighters have completed 90 percent of a fire line around the flames, "despite fairly active fire behavior due to dry forest fuels and strong winds," an update on the agency's Facebook page says.
Crews have also tracked and are working on extinguishing a spot fire about one-quarter of an acre in size near the fire.
About 180 firefighters remain on scene today, along with five water tenders, five engines, and two dozers. Those ground crews have support from six helicopters and three air tankers on standby at the Roseburg airport. A fixed wing observation plane also remains in the air.
The agency first responded to reports of two small fires near milepost 23 on the highway's north side before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. The cause is not yet known.