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Red Flag Warnings for Oregon Coast / Washington Coast, Power Shutdowns

Published 09/08/22 at 5:55 PM - Updated 09/08/22 at 9:25 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Fire Danger Warnings for Oregon Coast / Washington Coast, Power Shutdowns

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(Portland, Oregon) – UPDATES: SPECIFIC AREAS OUTSIDE OF LINCOLN CITY SUBJECT TO SHUTOFF / BEACH FIRE BANS. SOUTH COAST ADDED TO REG FLAG WARNING - A variety of weather factors are coming together to create a vast Red Flag Warning along all of the Oregon coast and the entirety of the Washington coast, as well as inland areas like the Puget Sound, Seattle, Vancouver, Portland and Eugene. It's also going to be the cause of safety power shutdowns by Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, with some areas just outside of Lincoln City so far one of the few shutdowns to be confirmed. Hot, dry winds from the east will greatly raise fire dangers. (Cannon Beach, photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Updates: Oregon State Parks has just banned all beach fires along the entirety of the coast. Camp fires are banned inside all state forest lands as well, including coastal campgrounds. NEW AS OF 9 P.M.: All of the Oregon coast is now under the Red Flag Warning, and there are air quality alerts for the whole of Oregon's coast.

According to State Parks:

"No wood fires, charcol briquettes, pellet-fueled grills, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers and cannot be turned off with a valve. Portable cooking stoves and other devices using liquefied or bottle fuels are allowed for cooking purposes only."

Fires in campground fire rings are allowed on the south coast, however (from Reedsport southward).

State Parks spokesman Chris Havel told Oregon Coast Beach Connection the ban could last beyond this weather event to be on the safe side. See High Temps, Smokey Haze on Oregon Coast This Weekend, Beach Fire Bans

Meanwhile, offshore of the Oregon coast and Washington coast there are rough sea advisories and gale warnings, as if things can't get any stranger.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a red flag warning for the entire Washington coast and now all of the Oregon coast, as well as the Coast Range and Willapa Hills, in effect from 11 a.m. on Friday until 8 p.m. on Saturday. The same kind of warning is in effect from the southern Willamette Valley, through the Portland metro area, into Seattle and far up into Canada. Moderate to strong winds from the east are expected to kick in on Friday and Saturday, with gusts that are considered quite heavy for inland areas like Portland and Seattle (such as around 30 mph). This, along with low humidity will greatly increase fire dangers in the entire region.

“Conditions may be favorable for rapid fire spread which may threaten life and property,” the NWS said. “Use extra caution with potential ignition sources, especially in grassy areas. Outdoor burning is not recommended.”

Power companies are also expecting some power outages in this large region due to heavy winds, which will come at an uncomfortable time for those inland areas in the 90s.

Expect smokey haze from wildlifires to the east as well, not only in the valley regions but also on the coastlines. The entire coastline now has an air quality alert, just added late Thursday evening.

See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather

What's quite unusual here is that these conditions are expected along the Washington coast and Oregon coast, now all the way down through Brookings..

Beach bonfire bans and campfire bans are now in place along the whole of the Oregon coast.

Some 30,000 PGE customers from the Portland metro area have received notice they may have the power shut off over the weekend to keep transformers from starting more wildfires in the region. The range for possible shutdowns is enormous: from Clackamas County through to eastern Tillamook County, and from Vancouver to Salem. Areas most at risk for these shutoffs are in a medium blue color shown at this map.

Pacific Power just announced it will shut off power on the central Oregon coast starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, going through Saturday evening. These areas include the Rose Lodge, Three Rocks and Otis areas just outside Lincoln City on the coast, but also inland areas like Sweet Home, Santiam and Lebanon.

To find Oregon Coast Hotels to get away from power shutdowns and the heat

What do power shutdowns mean for coastal lodgings? Currently, it does not seem likely businesses within Lincoln City will be affected.

In Lincoln City, Rob Lee with Inn at Wecoma, Coho Oceanfront Lodge and Surfland Hotel told Oregon Coast Beach Connection that if a shutoff were to happen in town, their properties will have generators that power the lobbies but not rooms. This scenario would be similar throughout town if it were to occur. Most businesses and services, including restaurants, would be down in such an event.

Off much of the Oregon coast and Washington coast, various gale warnings or hazardous seas warnings will be in effect from Friday through Saturday, especially the waters from Florence down through Cape Blanco. Very steep and hazardous seas are expected, at 9 to 13 ft at 7 seconds. See High Temps, Smokey Haze on Oregon Coast This Weekend, Beach Fire Bans In the 80s or higher, air quality alerts, power blackouts, bonfires banned

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