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Highway 138E 'open to unrestricted travel' for first time since August 11

Motorists had been able to travel through the area at times in alternating directions under the guidance of a pilot car. As of Wednesday afternoon, however, the "highway is open to unrestricted travel," Oregon DOT said. Parking is still not allowed along shoulders or in pullouts, Oregon DOT said Wednesday. (ODOT photo)

ROSEBURG, Ore. - For the first time since August 11, Highway 138E is open through the Umpqua North Complex of forest fires.

Motorists had been able to travel through the area at times in alternating directions under the guidance of a pilot car.

As of Wednesday afternoon, however, the "highway is open to unrestricted travel," Oregon DOT said.

Parking is still not allowed along shoulders or in pullouts, Oregon DOT said Wednesday.

And motorists are reminded to watch for road hazards. Two drivers on Highway 58 - the next route across the Cascades north of Hwy 138 - collided with a boulder that fell on the road amidst by recent rains.

The Umpqua North fires triggered evacuation notices, closed the highway and put large swaths of public land off limits to entry.

That had an impact on businesses in the area. The Dry Creek Store, for example, stocked up in anticipation of the August 21 eclipse - only to be forced to evacuate due to the fires.

The fires have burned over 43,000 acres combined. They are 38 percent contained, with full containment projected for September 30.


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