Residents of Brookings Urged to Prepare for Evacuations as Megafire Threatens to Expand With Windy, Dry Weather

Chetco Fire at night

The Chetco Bar Fire at night. [Image taken August 20 provided by InciWeb]

Residents of Brookings, Oregon just north of the border have been warned to prepare for evacuations as the Chetco Bar Fire strides towards their town. The wildfire threatens the over 6000 inhabitants of that coastal community and the surrounding homes. Just before midnight last night, the fire has consumed 104,144 acres a jump of over 1800 acres since the previous day.

A report of a 1/4 acre fire came in on July 12, and initially, the fire burned slowly. On August 18th, only 22,000 acres were consumed. Over the next four days, it quadrupled in size to nearly 100,000 acres. The Chetco Bar Fire became the Nation’s highest priority blaze. Now, it has exceeded 100,000 acres becoming a megafire.

Today, it continues pushing westward to Hwy 101 and towards the communities along the Oregon coast.

Meanwhile, the weather is expected to increase the fire danger. According to InciWeb, “A Fire Weather Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for the fire area from Friday evening through Saturday morning for strong gusty winds with low RH. Gusty offshore “Chetco” winds will bring a period of much warmer and drier air to the fire area during this period.”

The decrease in moisture will increase fire activity.  The winds could lead to fire spotting across the lines and starting new fires.

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26 comments

  • Brookings is my favorite vacation spot . hope it don’t burn down .

  • Please take care folks.When they tell you to go ,PLEASE GO. My kids are that way,praying for everybody🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • we just came through there two days ago coming back from Wash. & the eclipse. extremely heavy smoke to where your air conditioner is not much help,visibility was a couple car lengths. It was 90K acres then. prayers for all involved,,,,,,and not

  • I’m so sick and tired of this BS, year after year. Nationalist lands, nationalist rules, nationalist fires.
    But it’s your private property backyard 4th of July BBQ party that created all the carbon that must be fought globally.
    I pray for everyone, especially those in the path of destruction, whether they are fighting or fleeing. May God have mercy on us all.

    • It was caused by lightning it wasn’t put out by the proper authorities when it was supposed to . So don’t say it was cause by a damn backyard BBQ . Get your facts straight before you start saying crap Everyone in that town I grew up with is fighting the fires with the firefighters . My family has lost its home and property Take your negative attitude somewhere else Shak.

      • Corysss – Shak was saying “But it’s your private property backyard 4th of July BBQ party that created all the carbon that must be fought globally.” He wasn’t saying that a 4th of July event caused the fire. Coryssss – I am truly sorry that your family lost a home and property. This fire is a damn shame. I live near Medford, and we’re struggling to breathe like you guys. Take a moment, slow down in the chaos, and read my points below. This is an impassioned timeline of events on this fire. The conditions, and our Governor’s inept response time in un-tying the fire marshall’s hands here are truly to blame for the situation we’re all in.

        There’s a crappy article going around saying that logging our forests would not have affected the outcomes of forest fires this year, and GLOBAL WARMING is the culprit. First, this fire is burning lands that were already burned out by the Silver fire of 1989 and 2002 Biscuit fire. The main source of fuel for Chetco Bar is new(now dry, dead)grass from a fantastic winter (and 15 yrs) of snow and water, deadfall, snags, oaks, manzanitas, and small stands of various growth conifer and evergreen trees. Most of the fuel is deadfall from the previous fires, which is already downed, dried, and primed for burning. Global warming didn’t cause this, our wildland management “mop-up” policies over the last 30 yrs, did. Our inability to put out an initial 1/4 acre fire, did. That’s right – July 12, 2017 the Chetco Bar fire was 1/4 acre in size, and burning “slowly.” Do you remember how the air was getting a touch smokier on August 20th when Gov. Kate Brown FINALLY “Paved the Way” for our State Fire Marshall to start throwing resources at a 31,000+ acre Chetco Bar Fire? AND What did that mean? 360 fire personnel, including Oregon National Guard (and God Bless ALL of these guys, just going where they’re sent, doing what they’re told) were sent into an inferno by August 21st-25th…when it quadrupled to 100,000 acres. As of now, we FINALLY have 1600+ personnel on this nearly 150,000 acre fire, FEMA $$ is being added, and the South Half of the State has Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy air quality (but Salem to Portland is clear, blue skies…). To put this into more of an unbelievable perspective, the Ponderosa fire in N. California is 3,500 acres with structures being destroyed or threatened…AND THEY HAVE 1600 personnel on hand. WTF?!

        Oregon has IMMENSE experience dealing with wildfires and “megafires.” We have the tools, the aircraft, the $$$(new pot tax dollars?), and the people to keep these fires at bay. And as a last resort, we are part of a Federal Government that could step in to help with more $$ should our Governor declare our situation an emergency. The problem is that our Government can’t agree over the policies on how to MANAGE these lands. The environmentalist agenda has tied both hands on fire and harvest management. The result is large forest fires and poor, to unlivable air quality for 2-3 months out of the year, every other year. Not to mention, we’re Governed by a woman (that I feel) harbors ill-will towards the portion of our state (and you can’t “take advantage of a crisis” without a “crisis”) that disagrees politically with her views, programs, and agendas. So why go out of her way to “help?” She gains no votes from our end of the state (if and when we actually vote for a Governor again, she was never voted into the position). She recently vetoed $4mil in State funding for projects in the community I live in, because our State Representative voted to put another proposed tax up to the voters for approval(the right thing to do), a tax she wanted right away. Our Rep did the right thing, and because of that, she line-item-veto’d our funding for projects in our area. The politics on the coast are similar, so why should she feel differently toward residents there? And why throw extra $$ at a small, 1/4 acre fire that is burning slowly?

        All of this I’ve gleaned from articles posted in the Oregonian, Oregon-Live, US Forest Service, inciweb, and State of Oregon web sources. While right and left-wing sources online provide great opinion on both sides, I wanted to see the facts for myself. And now I’m a PISSED OFF OREGON RESIDENT! And I encourage anyone reading to do your own due-diligence, find the emails for your Representative and Senator, and funnel this information into a well spoken message. The summary of my message will be clear – get your shit together, or I will vote for someone who’s is. We all (majority I hope) have jobs, and do our part for the companies we work for, or if we work for ourselves do whatever is necessary to make our customers happy. I’m not a happy customer! I haven’t been for a long time. I unhappily give this state my portion of tax dollars every year….for THIS?!

        To address the GLOBAL WARMING article, the cycle of seasons has been one of the main reasons my folks settled in S. Oregon. There are 4 distinct seasons here, Coast included. I’ve not lived nearly 41 yrs in this area and NOT recalled temps that didn’t hover around 90-110 degrees from mid July to mid Sept. It’s the part of the year I hate. AND if you look at major wildfire activity for the last 70 or so years, there is a 20 yr period from about 1965 to 1985 (give or take a year) where there was not a major forest fire in Oregon (Logging prospered in this period). The early 80’s began the scaling back of the logging industry in the state. From this, I think there is a pretty clear relationship between logging and the effects of fire management due to stewardship of lands under private ownership. And maybe I’m wrong, but we’ve gone back to a pre-1960’s environment of land management, and OH LOOK….we’ve had major fire events in this state ever since. You can make arguments on both sides – but I’m quite sick of the smoke, the pandering to environmental groups, and the unreal forest fires nearly every year. Your attitude should be negative, Coryssss…your family just lost a home and property to the State of Oregon. Not Global Warming. Not a wildfire.

        Shak, I agree 100% with your view. And to add, if we stopped carbon emissions 100%, cold-turkey, all of us traded up our cars, trucks, SUV’s for bicycles and Tesla’s, Global Warming would continue for another estimated 40 yrs. All we can feel is bad for our kids and grandkids. We can point fingers at ourselves, our parents, our grand parents, great grand parents, and any ancestor that helped drive the industrial revolution. And at this point – does it matter?! If we are truly the cause of global warming, the very thing that Progressives preach and want to slow down…is PROGRESS! The thing I see is more of a “it’s good enough for me, but not for you” stance by politicians. So, am I a global warming skeptic? I’d say I’m more of a GLOBAL WARMING POLITICS skeptic. The planet is going through a warming cycle. However we got here, we’re not going to fix it. You’d be asking for too much faith by too many people that our “fix” will actually work. And if it does “work,” the sacrifice by people now won’t have an effect until they are dead and gone. In a world where “I want it now!” prevails, overcoming that would be impossible. The population would rather have a comfortable deck chair than bail water on this Titanic. I personally feel that nothing changes our current course, and our species will adapt to meet whatever new challenges and changes are coming our way. We always have.

        I also believe that doing the right thing is always in fashion, so long as it makes logical sense. Solving problems by recycling plastics, curbing pollutants in air and water, and being responsible with hazardous materials (chemical, nuclear, etc) is always going to have an impact. How we implement, and convince the population is important. It, like anything, is a sale. Buyers need to be convinced that this will make their lives better. Or, we don’t buy!

  • Prayer for all in the area of the fire and smoke that people will get out in time and get relief from the bad air quality. Praying for safety for all the firefighters and personnel working close to the fires. My sister is close to the fire and preparing to leave. Hope and prayers for the best for all.

  • The Curry Coastal Pilot has regular updates at http://www.currypilot.com

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    God’s judgment on Oregon for being pro marihuana.

    Hope the fire passes anyone not a dope user.

    That area doesn’t like dope growers, so they’ll be fine.

    The RV park or Best Western is fun to stay at there, but if you can’t pass a drug screening-

    You aren’t welcome.

    Take your weed another place among your own kind.

    Find a slum and move there, because they like dope growers in slums.

    • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

      Lawyers don’t surf, Dan.

      You aren’t welcome on the break.

      Buy a wave pool or something, but lawyers are not allowed to surf.

    • Hey CHUMP……go back to school & learn to spell…..it’s marijuana NOT marihuana Just so u know, I live HERE in beautiful BROOKINGS & YES we LOVE others here….even pot smokers!!! Please keep your HATRED to yourself….and DON’T talk about my town!!! YOU DONT LIVE HERE & u know NOTHING!!💩👎👺😡

      • Maryjane : Marihuana is an acceptable spelling of the word. BUT, I DO AGREE with you on CHUMP. If CHUMP read his/her bible, I don’t think God specifically addresses anything having to do with marijuana, marihuana, ganga, weed, doobies, blunts, reds, sticky purple, Acapulco gold, or grass. God DOES say that alcohol in excess (old testament), also called “drunkenness,” is forbidden among his people. Now, his people (Jews/Hebrews) are the only ones mentioned. And I think that’s why my people (The Scotts) get a bit unruly on this topic. I’ll wrap up with the only two New Covenant ( New Testament ) Rules that I feel really matter, because we’re all screwed up sinners anyway who need grace : Love your neighbor as yourself….Love the Lord, Your God, with all your soul and might. If you go beyond that, and PUT YOUR TWISTED PERSONAL BELIEFS on a web posting about a forest fire…get a hobby, CHUMP! The fire will be put out, and the weed industry won’t skip a beat. Maryjane, I hope you stay safe through all of this. I don’t live there, and I am affected here in Medford – we can’t breathe either! And don’t let the CHUMPS grind you down. God, and only God will judge CHUMP. Not you.

        The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, Pub. 238, 75th Congress, 50 Stat. 551 (August 2, 1937) was a United States Act that placed a tax on the sale of cannabis. The H.R. 6385 act was drafted by Harry Anslinger and introduced by Rep. Robert L. Doughton of North Carolina, on April 14, 1937.

  • Your little constant ragging on pot and pot smokers is so funny. It makes you sound so old and outta touch and the cute devils weed is just so corny and means nothing in the real world. You are passé and you’ve been stuck in the same place, same words, same crap for years. Come into the light.

  • If this fire is a USFS fire, they sometimes allow fires to burn at the beginning to clear ground slash, as opposed to CalFire, which makes efforts to put fires out asap. Fires can be good for forest’s ground, but sometimes it backfires on USFS. Years ago, a fire started in Angeles Nat. Forest in the foothills of LA (Angeles Crest area). USFS got on it, but didn’t put it completely out. CalFire offered crews or helicopter to put it out, but USFS declined. They left a small crew on it over night, and the Santa Ana winds came up. After it was all over, the fire burned a couple hundred thousand acres and many homes all the way over to I-5 to the Grapevine. Hopefully, they did everything possible to get this one out from the beginning. Good luck to Brookings !

  • God bless this town and all who live there. I was raised in Brookings and my family is still there. Praying for the Firefighters who are risking their lives to save others.

  • This isn’t the wrath of god, has nothing to do with weed- although if we burn up, they will lose their entire grows for the season… I’m right in the level 2, have been evacuated two times and allowed to go back, but on alert. It shows what your values are when you have little time to pack- animals, water, papers, a few loved family items, clothes on your back. Here at Whaleshead, some of us made a pact with each other to know where our friends are at all times and wait for them to make sure they get out safely. Each day is precious when life as you know it might very well be a memory.

  • Why wasn’t this put out when it was reported as a 1/4 acre fire?

  • Wishing safety for residents and firefighters!

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