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Sep-15-2020 22:00printcomments

Marion County Fire Evacuation Levels and Road Closure Barricades

Evacuation Level Updated for Lyons and Mehama

Oregon fires
Oregon Hwy 22
Photo: ODOT

(MARION COUNTY, Ore.) - Evacuation levels were updated at 1:00 p.m. today for portions of the Mehama and Lyons communities, being downgraded to a Level 2 “Be Set” evacuation status. Those evacuation levels remain in effect.

Existing closures on Highway 22 will remain in effect due to continuing extreme hazards from falling trees.

To ensure public safety and prioritize travel for emergency responders, ODOT crews barricaded portions of OR 22 North Santiam Highway and OR 226 Albany-Lyons Highway on Monday.

The barricades will be in place until further notice. OR 22 has been closed, with flaggers and law enforcement screening those requesting entry, since the night of Labor Day.

Much of the area is under different levels of evacuation orders while firefighters battle wildfires in the area.

Barricades are in place at:

  • OR 22 and the intersection of OR 226
  • OR 22 and Jennie Road
  • OR 22 at U.S. 20
  • OR 22 at Gates Hill Road

Closures will also be in effect at:

  • OR 226 at Mehama Bridge
  • OR 226 at W. McCully Mountain Road

With wildfires still burning in much of the state, smoke and fog have greatly reduced visibility. Rain is forecast in the Willamette Valley this week and could make traveling the road even more dangerous.

Trees and rocks are unstable or have fallen in the road. Unstable hillsides could bring more debris down or cause landslides.

Firefighters, law enforcement officials, and utility companies need access to the highway and will be allowed past the barricades to help with response and repairs vital to the fire response and to reopening the area.

ODOT continues assessing damage to the highway, but guardrail, pavement and signs have all been damaged. A significant number of hazard trees will need to be assessed and removed before the highway is safe to open to the public.

The best way to stay safe is avoid driving unless absolutely necessary. Remember to check conditions if you must head out. A number of roads remain closed throughout the state. Go to or call 5-1-1 for real time road conditions.

If you encounter heavy smoke while driving, remember to slow down, turn on your headlights, use your fog lights if you have them, and give other drivers plenty of space.

Remember to never stop in a travel lane and if you must pull over pull off the road as far as possible.

As residents prepare to return to fire impacted areas, we want to remind them to be prepared for hazards they may encounter.

Current evacuation information for Marion County:

  • Detroit
  • Idanha
  • Breitenbush
  • Mill City
  • Gates
  • North Fork Rd north of Highway 22
  • Highway 22 east of Highway 226


  • Lyons
  • Mehama west of Highway 226
  • Fernridge Road west of Shellburg Creek Road to Basil Hill
  • Scotts Mills
  • Crooked Finger Rd and Moss Lane


  • Areas east of Meridian Rd, Davis Creek and Victor Point south to the Marion County line

To see detailed current Marion County Evacuation Zones please visit:

If you happen to live in fire impacted areas of Linn County, updated evacuation maps can be found at:

After the wildfire evacuation restrictions have been lifted, and residents are given permission to return home, many additional hazards can remain.

Firefighters, local governments, utility companies, and road departments begin restoring fire damaged areas as soon as they can, but making the area safe for the public can take multiple days.

Stay out of the evacuation area until fire officials tell you it is safe to return. It is extremely important to be aware of the hazards and know what to look for when the evacuation order is lifted.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.