Downed Power Lines Caused 13 Oregon Fires

Fires started during a period of peak winds

 

A man examines residences destroyed by the Almeda Fire at the Parkview Townhomes in Talent, Ore., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

 

SALEM, Ore. — A fire incident report says downed power lines sparked at least 13 fires during a period of high winds last week between two Oregon communities that were devastated by flames.

The report from the Northwest Interagency Fire Coordination Center that was written last Thursday says the fires ignited between Mehama and Detroit east of the capital of Salem during peak winds on Sept. 7.

The report doesn’t say to what extent those fire starts affected a larger, separate blaze that started Aug. 16.

That wind-driven fire, called the Beachie Creek Fire, swept through a canyon on Sept. 8 and wiped out the towns of Detroit, Gates, Mill City and Idanha. Its cause is still under investigation.

The Oregon Public Utility Commission told local media Tuesday that it had no information that attributed a “specific wildfire to any specific Oregon utility.”

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