CURRY COUNTY - Residents in Curry County have been evacuated in the face of the growing Chetco Bar Fire.
The evacuation orders came from the Curry County Sheriff's Office on Friday morning at 8 a.m. Evacuees with no place to go are being directed to stay at the Brookings High School, currently designated as the official evacuation center.
The fire ignited after a lightning strike on July 12 and spread along the burn scar where the Biscuit Fire burned in 2002, one of the largest in Oregon, and where the Silver Fire spread in 1987.
Currently, the Chetco Fire is spread across 10,000 acres.
"The residents who received the evacuation notice are housed along the Chetco River, upstream from Loeb State Park," said Bruce Palmer, public information officer with the U.S. Forest Service. "There is at least one community of 13 residents there. I'm not sure how many homes are scattered along the river who are included in that evac notice."
The fire is at zero containment, though the forest service is pulling resources from neighboring fires that have been brought under control. Right now there are 100 firefighters on scene.
"How far this might continue to spread is weather dependent," Palmer said. "At this time, our hot and dry weather is increasing the fire behavior. I don't think this fire will stop burning until it rains."
When the fire began in July, the forest service tried to suppress the flames by dropping repellent. However, when they discovered that the efforts were failing, the service pulled back.
"The burn scar where this fire is spreading is steep, there is no safety zone," Palmer said. "There are no necessary escape routes, so we pulled the repellents out. We decided to meet the fire on our terms."
This story will be updated as it develops.