CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OR (KPTV) – A wildfire burning near Estacada gained more than 100,000 acres of new growth in one day, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The Riverside Fire, which was first reported early Tuesday morning, has burned an estimated 120,000 acres with zero containment, the U.S. Forest Service reported Thursday morning.
On Wednesday morning, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office reported the fire had burned an estimated 40,000. The fire quickly grew to 112,000 acres by the evening.
Eastern winds continued to push the fire down the Clackamas River corridor on Wednesday and west toward the community of Estacada, forcing Level 3 “GO NOW” evacuations.
Just after 1 p.m. Thursday, the sheriff’s office issued new evacuation orders. The city of Molalla is now under Level 3 “GO NOW” evacuation orders. Level 3 has expanded west to Highway 213 and north to Henrici Road.
Multiple evacuation sites are available for people who have to leave their homes. A full list of sites can be found here.
By Thursday afternoon, firefighters in Clackamas County had been told to disengage from fighting the fires due to a rapid increase in fire behavior. Incident commanders were evaluating the situation to determine how to safely get crews back on the fire lines as soon as possible. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Riverside Fire is human-caused. No other information about the investigation has been released.
Clackamas County residents are asked to sign up for public alerts at www.clackamas.us/dm. More information about the wildfires can be found at www.clackamas.us/wildfires.