COVID-19 Travel Information

Willamette Valley Wildfire Updates and Resources

Willamette Valley fire travel information updated September 17, 2020

While the Willamette Valley is known for its lush, green hillsides, right now the region, along with much of the West Coast, is experiencing dry, fire-prone conditions, paired with a high-wind weather advisory. With portions of the Willamette Valley currently confronting wildfires, the National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for western Oregon. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. 

In the Willamette Valley, safety is of the utmost importance. Please know, we are here and open, but before you travel to our region, read on for the latest travel advisories, as well as the DEQ’s Air Quality Index. These sites are being updated regularly and will include everything you need to make up-to-the-minute travel decisions. If you are visiting a business, please check their website, call ahead or make a reservation before arrival, businesses may be experiencing altered hours. Follow updates on the wildfires around the region and beyond, by visiting https://traveloregon.com/travel-alerts/.

PHOTO COURTESY OF OREGON DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION – FLICKR
PHOTO COURTESY OF OREGON DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION – FLICKR
PHOTO COURTESY OF OREGON DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION – FLICKR
PHOTO COURTESY OF OREGON DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION – FLICKR

High winds are fueling the flames, toppling trees and limbs, and spreading debris around the region. This can cause road hazards, as well as power outages, and power may be shut off in high-risk areas as a preemptive measure. An air quality advisory is in effect, and we do not encourage leisure travel to areas impacted by wildfires at this time. 

Keep in mind that, due to smoke and poor air quality, businesses may not be open, might alter operations, or will operate on a takeout-only model for the foreseeable future. Check out the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's Air Quality Map for the latest smoke conditions.

If you are already in the area, prepare by visiting Tripcheck.com for road closures, safety information, and other travel resources. Remember, please be courteous on the roads, as many displaced residents are seeking shelter and resources.

The following fire information and updates are being arranged as they would appear geographically in the Willamette Valley region, north to south. 

 A wildfire is currently burning in rural Washington and Yamhill counties, at the northern edge of the Willamette Valley. As of Sept. 15, 2020, the fire has been 100% contained.

Four active wildfires are currently burning in Clackamas County—along the Clackamas River and near the communities of Estacada, Molalla, and Woodburn.

Multiple wildfires have broken out along Highway 22 in the Santiam Canyon area. Closure updates for the Santiam Canyon fire—currently burning east of Salem in Marion County—will be posted to Marion County Sheriff’s Office social media sites as they become available.

The Holiday Farm Fire is impacting Linn County and the McKenzie River region. Much of Highway 20 through Linn County and the West Cascades area, traveling east from Sweet Home, is on Level 2 (“Be Ready”) evacuation notice. Please avoid unnecessary travel on this highway.

As of Sept. 14, 2020, areas northeast of Eugene and from Thurston Hills up Highway 126 to the McKenzie River is on various levels of evacuation. Highway 126, and all roads north and south of the highway, is closed to through and unnecessary traffic to give space for residents who need to evacuate.

The Echo Mountain Complex fire continues to burn along Highway 18 (which runs between the Willamette Valley and Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast). As of Sept. 16, 2020, Highway 18 has reopened to traffic; drivers should expect delays as firefighters continue to battle the blaze.

These resources offer information on air quality, travel alerts, closures, and more throughout Oregon.

Statewide Resources:

Outdoor Recreation closures:

Many outdoor spaces are closed by land management agencies due to fire danger but starting Friday, Sept. 18, the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests will re-open along with ODF-managed lands in Columbia, Lincoln, Polk, and Benton counties.
The Gilchrist and Sun Pass state forests along with ODF-managed lands in Klamath, Jackson, Josephine, Coos, Douglas and Lane counties remain closed due to extreme fire danger.
The Santiam State Forest remains closed until further notice.

Use these links to check the most current status of public lands and make the safest possible decision:

As these fires rage on and affect thousands of Oregonians, we wanted to share a few resources for those feeling the impact—and a few ways our community can get involved and show their support.

Red Cross Support and Assistance

The Red Cross is providing support and assistance at the following locations throughout the Willamette Valley and Oregon:

Community Support and Assistance

Our community and local partners are also providing support at the following locations throughout the Willamette Valley:

How to donate and make a difference:

The following organizations are working to get supplies and funds to help support firefighters, front-line workers, and displaced residents:

PHONE: 866.548.5018
EMAIL: info@oregonwinecountry.org
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