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Sandy Fire advises residents to be prepared, though fires remain outside Sandy district

It's been four days since the fires that have forced thousands to flee from their Clackamas County homes first ignited.

As of Wednesday, Sept. 9, the four fires had burned a combined total of 114,200 acres.

In the Estacada area, residents within city limits and many surrounding communities are on level three evacuation — meaning that residents should leave immediately.

In Sandy, Clackamas County declared those south of Trubel Road to be at level three evacuation Wednesday, and many even outside of that area began preparing supplies and leaving the area early.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, the Dowty Road Fire in Eagle Creek had burned 2,200 acres and is 10-15% contained. An estimated 12 structures have been lost, six of which were houses.

Of the four fires in the area, the Dowty Road Fire is closest to Sandy. That said, as of this morning, Sept. 10, Sandy Fire Chief Phil Schneider says there is still yet to be any active fire within the Sandy Fire District. Sandy proper remains in level one evacuation, but Schneider and city officials are advising that Sandy residents be prepared out of an abundance of caution. While the county has prompted evacuation residents in southern rural Sandy, Schneider said he considers that area still really within a level two, though all in the Sandy area should be on "alert" and paying attention to information as it's coming out.

"We held last night on Dowty Road, which is the closest fire to us," Schneider said. "We're still advising people to be tentative. Have a plan if you have animals or livestock."

Sandy Fire is currently partnering with other local agencies to help on calls outside of the wildfire effort and keep the area surrounding Sandy safe.

The Riverside Fire, which began on the Mt. Hood National Forest near Three Linx, was two air miles southeast of Estacada city limits as of 6 p.m. Wednesday. The fire, which is 0% contained, has burned 112,000 acres.

Leaders from the U.S. Forest Service said the fire was human caused but did not specify further details.

Since the Riverside Fire began earlier this week, east winds have continued to push it west toward Estacada, and heavy smoke and low visibility prevented air tanker pilots from safely dropping fire retardant to slow the growth.

"We're working closely with the Clackamas Fire District, Sheriff's Office, and many others to protect our communities," said Richard Periman, Mt. Hood National Forest Supervisor. "Nothing matters more right now than human life as we stand together to face this unprecedented situation."

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