Fire Near Mapleton
The Oregon Department of Forestry liaison Jim Gersbach has told coast radio news that updates on the Sweet Creek Milepost 2 fire will be dependent on the ability of firefighters to find a moment to reach out to him. Gersbach says by tomorrow morning information should begin to flow more steadily as there will be a lead public information officer assigned to the fire. According to one source on scene there have been no structures lost and no loss of life as a result of the fire. The area around Hadsell creek has been successfully blocked and focus is turning to controlling the fire. The fire started early yesterday afternoon and plumes of smoke and flames could be seen for miles as local fire and EMS responded. Reports on social media were rampant and often times inaccurate as people speculated as to who or what started the fire. One report involved a white Honda with three individuals that were believed to be responsible for starting the fire, but Oregon State Police confirmed to Coast Radio that there were no suspects. One citizen who was monitoring scanner calls told Coast Radio that the individuals in the white Honda were identified as locals attempting to extinguish the fire, but even that is unconfirmed by Lane County Sheriff’s office. The fire has burned several hundred acres and immediate evacuation notices have been issued for residents along Hadsell Creek Road with residents of Sweet Creek Road being told to be ready to go at a moments notice under a level 2 evacuation. Lane County Sheriff’s Office also warns people to avoid the Mapleton Area in order for emergency vehicles to have access to the fire. Firefighting resources are expected to grow throughout the day with ODF taking command of fire.
The fire is reportedly moving away from the Mapleton Area, and those that have been evacuated were taken to an evacuation point at Siuslaw Middle School in Florence. Firefighting crews are set up at the Mapleton School Campus. Multiple aircraft including Helicopters and fixed wing tankers were dumping fire retardant yesterday afternoon. At last report from ODF the fire was moving uphill and away from Mapleton, but homes and ranches along the area were in danger. Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue Chief Michael Schick said SVFR, Swisshome and Mapleton Fire Departments are engaged in protecting structures. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
New COVID-19 Case for Florence Area
The Florence area has reported a new coronavirus case. According to the Oregon Health Authority the 97439 zip code now has 19 total cases of the coronavirus to date. There is no additional information on the latest case available. The new report came in over the weekend as the Lane County overall total reaches 704 cases. With 30 new cases since Friday. There have also been 20 new deaths reported in the state over the weekend with 822 new cases reported for the previous 3 days. Oregon’s total is now at 26,554 with 463 deaths.
City Lights Cinemas Back Open
City Lights Cinemas reopened on Friday to moviegoers. And continues to lure the Florence audiences. Beginning today the third release from Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves will be showing this week. Bill and Ted Face the Music focuses on the duos failure to save the world with their music, but now receive help from their daughters. The film is directed by Galaxy Quest Director Dean Parisot. Owner Michael Falter says audiences over the weekend were at about 2/3 rds of the numbers needed to be successful. With hopes of big name distributors opening up their cache of some of the summer blockbusters for the fall. Mega blockbusters, like Top Gun 2 have been moved to a holiday release date. Top Gun 2 is expected to preview in theaters in late December.