Silver Creek fire doesn’t stop wedding party, park celebration

Silver Creek fire doesn’t stop wedding party, park celebration

15 July 2018

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USA – Firefighters containing a small blaze in a remote part of Silver Falls State Park have allowed scheduled park events to go on, including a wedding reception.

The Silver Creek fire, which is now 25 percent contained, started off dramatically when it spurred the evacuation of 185 people Friday and spread to 27 acres, according to an Oregon Department of Forestry news release.

Ground and air attacks performed by 125 firefighters battled the blaze in the Howard Creek drainage, a steep, timbered area more than a mile from the park’s southeast boundary.

The Oregon Department of Forestry and Drakes Crossing Rural Fire Protection district sent hand crews from the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility and other ground support to assist aerial teams in a helicopter as well as Heavy Airtankers and Single Engine Airtankers (SEATs) on Saturday.

Sunday’s aerial attack is being executed by Type 2 helicopters and a Type 1 helicopter, ODF said in a release. Heavy Airtankers and SEATs are on standby.

Officials do not know what started the fire, which was less than 1 acre when it was discovered Friday morning beneath thick timber.

The fire was estimated at less than 6 acres when a YMCA youth camp had to be evacuated from Camp Silver Creek Friday.

Fire agencies reported Saturday that the fire area doubled to 12 acres, but the estimate was hampered by the ground crew’s limited visibility due to smoke, a dense canopy and extensive understory.

A map and information released Sunday revised the fire’s spread to 27 acres.

There are no reports of injuries or facility damage, and visitors are attending the Historic Silver Falls Day event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Center is open to customers and is the site of a wedding reception.

There are closures in the park’s southeast corner. Howard Creek Horse Camp and ranches are off limits to the public and are being used by crews as command posts.

Back country trails are also closed at Silver Falls State Park as are the 214 Trailhead, Howard Creek day-use area and Camp Silver Creek.

Other areas of the park are currently operating normally, with no interruptions to scheduled events, ODF said.

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