All evacuation notices lifted for Chetco Bar Fire: 'No immediate threat to community'

Poster seen near Lake Selmac Fire Camp on the Chetco Bar Fire (InciWeb)

BROOKINGS, Ore. - All evacuation notices have been lifted for Curry County homes put in harm's way by the Chetco Bar Fire in southwest Oregon.

"It has been one month today since we started the evacuations of our residents due to the Chetco Bar Fire," Sheriff John Ward said in an email Monday. "It is with great pleasure that I make this notification."

RELATED | All evacuation notices for upper McKenzie River area lifted

Closures remain in effect on public lands managed by the USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

"Residents should stay informed and be ready to take action, if conditions change," the sheriff's office and fire managers said in a statement. "Residents can bring animals and livestock back into the community. At this time the Chetco Bar Fire poses no immediate threat to community life, property or livestock."

The Chetco Bar Fire was first detected July 12, the result of a lightning strike. At the time, it was a quarter acre burning in the scar of the 2002 Biscuit Fire - that's 10,890 square feet, about the area of a good-sized lot in a nicer Eugene neighborhood.

By the end of July, the fire had burned 2,900 acres

What a difference 4 weeks can make.

As of August 28, the fire had burned 117,669; destroyed at least 7 homes; and forced thousands of people to either flee their homes or prepare to evacuate.

The fire had placed the entire community of Brookings-Harbor on notice to prepare for a possible evacuation.

As of Monday, September, the fire had burned 189,787 acres. Containment stands at 53 percent, up from 43 percent on Sunday.

"As cooler, moist weather increases, more containment will be achieved," fire managers said in a briefing Monday morning. "Yesterday’s precipitation event sets the stage for this week’s activity across the Chetco Bar Fire area. We can expect light wetting rains to continue to dampen fire activity through Wednesday."

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