About the Beachie Creek Fire
The Beachie Creek Fire started on August 16, 2020 in the Williamette National Forest, Opal Creek Wilderness Area. Because of the remote and steep terrain, firefighting efforts were basically limited to helicopter water drops with no direct ground attack for several weeks. According to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NICC), the fire had burned approximately 513 acres as of September 6th at 8:30p.m.
Beachie Creek Fire seen burning on a high ridgeline in the Opal Creek Wilderness. However, on September 7th, a strong wind event impacted the area and according to fire managers, caused at least 13 separate fires from downed power lines between Detroit and Mehama in Santiam Canyon. These fires were originally referred to as the “Santiam Fire”. On September 8th, a large front of wind-driven fire ran through the city of Detroit from the east. The cities of Mill City, Gates, Lyons, Mehama, Detroit and others along Hwy 22 suffered significant damage. Because the Beachie Creek Fire eventually merged with the Santiam Fire, both fires are referred to as the Beachie Creek Fire.
As of September 21st, the Beachie Creek Fire had burned approximately 192,736 acres and destroyed 470 residences and 818 other structures. Tragically, the fire has killed at least 4 people. According to the Statesman Journal, Consumers Power, Inc. de-energized its electrical circuits in Santiam Canyon at about 7:00 p.m. on Labor
Day as a safety precaution, but Pacific Power decided not to de-energize any of its circuits during this dangerous wind event. Fire officials blame downed power lines for igniting 13 wildfires that because a firestorm that burned from Detroit to Lyons.