A fire in Lake County prompted Gov. Kate Brown to invoke the Emergency Conflagration Act on Wednesday. The Cougar Peak Fire is burning 15 miles northwest of Lakeview, and is estimated to be 3,500 acres in size. There are Level 1 (”get ready”) and 3 (”leave now”) evacuation orders in place.

Cottonwood Campground, located approximately 1.5 miles west of the fire, was evacuated by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday afternoon. Recreation sites in the area are closed, including Upper Cottonwood, as well as the Cottonwood Creek trailhead.

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“As we are observing National Preparedness Month this September — and as we are still facing wildfires this season — now is a good time for Oregonians to make a preparedness plan and get 2 Weeks Ready,” Brown wrote in a statement.

In compliance with the Emergency Conflagration Act, Brown said she determined a threat to life, safety and property due to the Cougar Peak Fire exists, and that the threat exceeds the firefighting capabilities of local firefighting personnel and equipment. The declaration clears the way for the state fire marshal to send firefighters and equipment to assist locals in battling the fire and further support a coordinated response.

Brown encouraged Oregonians to sign up for emergency notifications through the state as a first step to emergency preparedness.

“I encourage all Oregonians to understand wildfire risks, pay attention to fire restrictions, and be sure to check in with friends and family members who may need help to get disaster prepared,” Brown wrote.

A red flag warning is in place for South Central Oregon until 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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