Sweet Creek Milepost 2 Fire Update; Weather News; One New COVID-19 Case for Florence; Influx of Visitors

Sweet Creek Milepost 2 Fire Update

Fires crews continue to see progress in the Sweet Creek Area near Mapleton.  At the last update the Oregon Department of Forestry declared the fire 64% contained.  Mop up operations according to the latest report have reached as much as 250 feet into the interior of the burn.  White plumes of smoke could still be seen rising from the wooded areas around Mapleton, but smoke had mostly cleared from through the day on Sunday.  Today’s weather conditions could cause some problems for firefighters with heat rising and humidity levels lowering and the threat of windy conditions.  Crews yesterday worked on protecting the area from water erosion and possible future slides.  All evacuation notices for the area have been cancelled yet Sweet Creek Road remains closed up to milepost 3.  Traffic flow through the area was pretty steady and is expected to be heavy today, but fire personned across Highway 126 is expected to be minimal.  Lane County Sheriff’s department is asking people to still avoid the area if possible to increase safety for firefighters.  Recreational boating also remains closed from the Tiernan boat ramp to the Mapleton Bridge.

Weather News

Weather is making news today as high winds are predicted along the coastal range of Oregon and that includes the Florence area.  The warning begins this evening at 5 pm and will last through 1 pm tomorrow.  In addition there is also a Red Flag Warning for the area beginning today and lasting through 8 pm on Wednesday.  Mowing and cutting of dry or cured grass is restricted as is the use of spark emitting combustion engines that includes mowers, weed eaters and chainsaws.

One New COVID-19 Case for Florence

Since last reported the Oregon health Authority has added 719 new coronavirus cases for the state and there have also been 11 new deaths reported.  There have also been 42 new reported cases for Lane County which includes one new case for the Florence Area bringing that total to 20 confirmed cases for the 97439 zip code.  Overall Lane County now has a total of 776 cases and the state total is at 27,601 with 11 new deaths since Friday.

Influx of Visitors

Over the weekend in Florence the streets were lined with visitors and one report Coast Radio received was that many people were on the streets with little separation and a large number were also not wearing masks.  Lane County issued a reminder for safe practices as little can be done to stop the crowds from entering the City.  Crowds are expected to be heavy again today with temperatures in the valley reaching mid 90’s.  with 80 degrees predicted for Florence today.