High winds that have whipped up flames across the state have led to the immediate evacuation of several popular parks and campgrounds.
This morning, the Oregon State Police helped clear people out of Silver Falls State Park due to area wildfires. The entire site, which is approximately 25 miles southeast of Salem and known for its network of 10 waterfalls, is now off limits. All reservations through Sept. 17 will be canceled and fees refunded.
A series of popular recreation areas along Highway 22, which is currently closed to everyone except emergency responders, were also evacuated early today. Detroit Lake, the Mongold Day Use Area and the North Santiam State Recreation Area, which just a day ago were filled with visitors during the holiday weekend, are surrounded by fires.
Most of the small Marion County towns on that route have also been issued level 3 "Go Now" evacuation notices, including Lyons, Mehama and Idanha. Residents of Stayton, Sublimity and Aumsville have received a level 2 "Get Ready" notice.
Farther south, flames have destroyed much of Collier Memorial State Park. The area about 35 miles north of Klamath Falls was safely evacuated. Highway 97 is closed in both directions to everyone except fire personnel.
Red Cross emergency staging sites are open in both parts of the state that are affected. Those staying in and around Collier can park in the Kla-Mo-Ya Casino lot in Chiloquin. For evacuees in Marion County, the Salem State Fairgrounds has been turned into a temporary shelter. Animals and livestock are accepted.
Oregon Parks & Recreation is reminding everyone that campfire and open flame restrictions are in place at many locations throughout the state. That includes all North Coast facilities, the Champoeg State Heritage Area in the Willamette Valley, and the entire Mount Hood National Forest. If you're unsure whether a park you're headed to has a burn ban in place, check the agency's website for updated information.