Willamette Valley fire travel information updated on September 30, 2022
Wildfires in recent years have had a devastating impact on communities throughout the Santiam Canyon, the Willamette National Forest, and the Willamette Valley. We’re eternally grateful for the front-line responders, and our hearts go out to everyone affected by these wildfires.
With summer 2022 now winding down, we wanted to offer updates on the latest wildfire news to help you understand the latest conditions and provide everything you need to make up-to-the-minute travel decisions. Here are the latest news and resources to help make the most of your trip:
2022 Wildfire Updates and News
Visitors and those enjoying the outdoors are encouraged to be safe, responsible, and aware in these warm, dry conditions. Campfires are currently banned in the Willamette National Forest.
In addition, a substantial wildfire is burning in the Willamette National Forest, along with another in South Salem. They are:
Cedar Creek Fire: As of September 30, 2022, the Cedar Creek Fire is burning on about 120,500 acres roughly seven miles east of Oakridge and a few miles north of Highway 58—not far from Waldo Lake. Closures are in place between Oakridge and Waldo Lake, and the entire Waldo Lake Wilderness Area is closed; fires are also banned throughout the Willamette National Forest.
Level 1 evacuation alerts are currently in effect for the greater Oakridge and Westfir areas, which means that residents and visitors should be aware of danger in the area. Check out up-to-date evacuation levels from Lane County. Learn more, and get timely updates on the Cedar Creek Fire Facebook page; the Willamette National Forest has also provided a map of closed areas.
As you make travel plans, learn about visiting wildfire-impacted areas in Oregon; the guide helps visitors stay safe, have fun, and show their support for communities that have experienced wildfires in recent years.
Road Closures and Alerts
Travelers should expect delays throughout the West Cascades and Cascade Range. Here’s a look at what to expect as you plan your upcoming travels.
Highway 58: Running between Eugene and Central Oregon, Highway 58 is currently open to vehicular traffic. Note that the Cedar Creek Fire is currently burning along the highway, roughly seven miles east of Oakridge and Westfir, and that drivers may experience delays or temporary closures while firefighting crews work to put out the blaze.
Highway 22: Travelers should expect delays along Highway 22 as crews continue to clean debris from 2020 wildfires and work to ensure safety of drivers and residents. Many businesses were damaged or destroyed in the fires; with limited services in the Santiam Canyon area, be sure to fill your gas tank, and pack plenty of water, food, and other supplies. Learn more about outdoor recreation in the Santiam Canyon area and how to make the most of your next visit.
Oregon Route 126: Oregon Route 126 is open to vehicular traffic, but visitors should expect occasional delays as crews remove debris following the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire. At this time, travelers are cautioned against visiting to survey the area’s fire damage; landslides and downed trees have created dangerous conditions for visitors, and frontline responders are working tirelessly to improve safety in the area.
Oregon Route 224: Oregon Route 224 around Estacada has reopened following the Riverside Fire, which began around Labor Day 2020. Visitors should expect temporary road closures and delays of up to 20 minutes as crews remove debris, repair asphalt, and work to clean up the wildfire-scarred area.
Travelers traveling across the Cascade Range, between the Willamette Valley and Central Oregon, should take Highway 26 (on Mount Hood) or Highway 20 (for Santiam Pass). Visit TripCheck.com for up-to-the-minute travel alerts, maps, webcams, closure information, and other advisories.
Outdoor Recreation Closures
Several outdoor recreation areas remain closed in the wake of .
McKenzie River: Vast stretches of forest burned along the McKenzie River in the Holiday Farm Fire; Travel Lane County has put together a Google Map showing recreation sites along the river (and along OR-126)—and whether they’re open or closed at this time.
Community Support and Assistance
Even though the region’s wildfires have been contained, it’s a long road to recovery for displaced residents, small-business owners, and others impacted by the natural disaster. Here are a few ways to help those in need.
Santiam Canyon Fire
The Mid-Valley Wildfire Relief Fund (from United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley) offers support for those impacted in the Santiam Canyon area.
Santiam Hospital has also set up a Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund to help those who were impacted by fires in the area.
Holiday Farm Fire
In Lane County, where the Holiday Farm Fire had devastating effects, a GoFundMe drive has been created to help employees of the McKenzie River Mountain Resort (which was burned in the fires). United Way of Lane County has also started a Wildfire Response Fund to support the unmet needs of individuals and families most impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire.
Broad Relief Efforts
Cascade Volunteers is the nonprofit partner of the Willamette National Forest; the group coordinates volunteers and directly invests in the forest’s recreational facilities—including the Santiam and McKenzie districts, both battered by wildfires. Funds are going toward post-fire restoration efforts.
The Red Cross Cascades Region is getting emergency financial assistance into the hands of residents whose homes were burned or lost in the wildfires—and is still accepting donations.
The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is accepting donations to support wildland firefighters and their families.