Tag Archive for: Nakia Creek Fire

Fern Prairie, WA — Residents in the Nakia Creek Fire evacuation zones are free to go back to their homes today, according to Incident Commander, Matt Howard.

He said the fire is 23 percent contained and that weather conditions are favorable. 

Key takeaways:

• No houses were destroyed 

• No injuries or deaths

• Nearly 1,900 acres have burned 

• 500+ firefighters are battling the wildfire 

A firefighter tent city in Fern Prairie is housing 500+ firefighters who are served three meals a day and have all the basic essentials of life.

Although the Nakia Creek fire grew to 1,869 acres overnight, authorities are optimistic that containment efforts will continue to progress over the next few days as more firefighters arrive and aircraft return to combat this blaze that has affected 40,000 people over the last few days.

Dave Larson, Deputy Incident Commander, Assistant Fire Marshall Curtis Evenson, Sgt. Chris Skidmore, of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, and Natalie Weber, Oregon Forestry Department spokesperson, all addressed media at Grove Field Wednesday.

Larson said “this fire is the number one priority in the nation” given the number of people it is affecting. He said more than 500 firefighters are now at the scene working to contain this fire that ignited on October 9.

Key takeaways:

  • 550+ firefighters are on the scene
  • Sheriff’s deputies made an arrest Tuesday night for trespassing in the fire zone
  • Evacuation zones are shrinking
  • Containment is 12 percent
  • This is the highest priority fire in the nation
  • Aircraft are back on the scene
  • Weather forecast over the next few days is favorable
  • Focus is on level 2 and 3 evacuation zones
  • There’s been a good response to the fire investigation

“Aircraft are back on the scene,” said Weber, “and this is a game changer.”

She reported the fire is 12 percent contained and it burning 1,869 acres at this time.

Evenson, who is leading the investigation into the cause of the fire, said their agency has been flooded with calls and tips about the four persons of interest (two women, two men) who were driving a white Subaru at the scene of the initial spark.

“We encourage you to call us, to talk about this, to sort it out,” he said.

Skidmore said the evacuation zones are shrinking and that they are only focusing on level 2 and 3 zones, and are working to get Livingston Mountain residents back to their homes. He added that a man was arrested Tuesday night for trespassing into the fire zone. It was quickly learned there was a warrant out for his arrest on a prior charge.

Nakia Creek
Aircraft have returned to fight the Nakia Creek fire.

Following the air quality concerns raised by faculty and students at Camas High School and Liberty Middle School Tuesday, as well as others, Camas School District (CSD) Superintendent, Dr. John Anzalone, along with facilities staff, inspected multiple buildings Wednesday morning.

CSD issued this statement Wednesday morning:

“Early this morning, Dr. Anzalone and facilities staff members visited multiple buildings to assets today’s status. It was determined that schools would remain open because indoor air quality had improved compared to yesterday afternoon. Since outdoor air quality continues to be poor, recess, P.E., and athletics will remain indoors today. Today is a planned early release day; however, all professional development will be postponed so staff members may go home after students are released.

“Again, parents are always encouraged to consider the conditions of their neighborhood school and any particular circumstances or needs of their students to determine whether to keep their children home from school during adverse conditions. Students are excused from school when they have the parent or guardian’s permission.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed of any changes. Thank you for your support as we navigate the impacts of the Nakia Creek fire.”


Fern Prairie, WA — At a Tuesday press briefing local and regional authorities said 140 new firefighters are en route to help extinguish the Nakia Creek Fire, which has been burning since October 9. Officials also provided an update on the evacuation zone, the person of interest investigation, acreage burned, and weather conditions, among other news.

Natalie Weber, Public Information Officer for the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Sgt. Chris Skidmore, of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, and Matt Howard, Incident Commander, briefed the media.

Weber said 600 homes in the evacuation zone had direct contact with Clark County Sheriff’s deputies informing them of the need to evacuate, and said 140 firefighters from the region are en route to assist with the blaze, which has consumed about 1,800 acres. 

“There has been slight acreage growth on the Nakia Creek Fire,” said Weber. “This is natural growth that is expected. New aircraft and equipment is coming today. Weather conditions are foggy in the morning, with higher humidity, which helps. The fog limits visibility and creates challenges. The area has steep ridges that hinder access.”

Key takeaways:

  • The weather outlook is mostly favorable, with some winds forecast.
  • Evacuation zones are unchanged from Monday.
  • 222 homes are still in the evacuation zone, affecting 2,500 people.
  • Containment is 5 percent.
  • Oregon firefighter crews will remain through the weekend.
  • Crew moral is high.
  • It took time to get enough firefighters to battle this fire.
  • No structure has been lost.
  • A new camp in Fern Prairie has been set up to house all the firefighters. It has tents, showers and a kitchen to help them function.
  • Firefighters have all they need for supplies.

Skidmore said the Sheriff’s Office determines the evacuation zones, based on intelligence from Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and ODF. He also addressed the fire investigation, which is focusing on four persons of interest who were recorded at the scene when the fire first erupted.

“The persons of interest include four adults, two females and two males,” said Skidmore. “It also includes a white Subaru Forrester. They were encountered by two people down the trail who provided more descriptions about the number of people. Many people have called in.”

Skidmore said deputies are patrolling the area to protect people’s property, and he urged people to steer clear of the area for recreation purposes. 

Howard said it’s been 20 years since Oregon firefighters have worked on the ground in Washington. 

“Morale with the crew is high,” Skidmore said. “They recognize the need for them to be here. Crews are are and well trained.”

The Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying persons and a vehicle of interest in an ongoing Nakia Creek fire investigation.

The Fire Marshal’s office is asking the public to review the video and photo below to see if they recognize the people or vehicle. The video was taken Sunday, Oct. 9 at approximately 3:30 pm on a ridge near where the Nakia Creek fire is burning on Larch Mountain. The fire was first reported to CRESA about an hour later.

“We are looking for what we believe is a white or light-colored Subaru vehicle,” said Assistant Fire Marshal Curtis Eavenson. “Based on witness statements, we also believe there were two men and two women connected with this vehicle.”

If anyone recognizes the vehicle or people depicted in the video or has any information regarding the ongoing wildfire investigation, they are urged to contact the county’s Fire Marshal Office at (564) 397-3320.

The Nakia Creek fire is located nine miles northeast of Camas in the Yacolt Burn State Forest. 

More information on the fire including evacuation updates can be found online at http://cresa911.org/2022/10/11/nakia-creek-fire-updates/.

Video: https://youtube.com/shorts/dwziCVbAmLs?feature=share

Close up video: https://youtu.be/sdPnLlNgiHE

From CRESA: Officials estimate the Nakia Creek Fire today grew from 156 acres to about 2000 acres.   The easterly winds were so strong today that air assets were grounded at times for safety.  New containment is listed at 5 percent.

Please note this is a very rough estimate as there is so much smoke in the air, it is difficult to get a good visual on the fire.  CRESA believes we will have better numbers by morning.

CRESA sent out multiple notification alerts today including a Wireless Emergency Alert.  Please be sure you are looking at the most current map and updates for the most accurate notification areas. The most current information can be found at:  http://cresa911.org/2022/10/11/nakia-creek-fire-updates/.  

At this time we have:

• 28,765 homes under “Level 1 Be Ready” Notice  (Nakia Creek Fire)

• 5017 homes under “Level 2 Be Set” Notice 

• 2903 homes under “Level 3 Go Now” Notice

Grove Field is a gathering location for Livingston Mountain evacuees who have been meeting with each other and first responders.

At this time Clark County has also signed an Emergency Declaration due to the fires. 

Additionally American Red Cross has opened a shelter in Camas at:

Camas Church of Nazarene 

2204 NE Birch St,

Camas, WA 98607

The Cowlitz Tribe and Ilani has also made parking lots available for vehicles as well:

Parking Lots 10 and 11

Please put a sign in window “Fire Evacuee”

Parking Only, Gray water will need to be dumped at Gee Creek Rest Area

CRESA EOC Volunteers have also staffed a call center to assist anyone seeking assistance. The number is staffed 7 am to 10 pm. Please call 360-992-9229.

We will continue to update as we get information.