Footage provided by the Oregon Department of Transportation shows wildfire damage across the Detroit area.

Salem Statesman Journal

A new pilot car will be added Thursday on Highway 22E to help safely guide Santiam Canyon residents back home, according to officials from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The new pilot car will run at 6 p.m. from Gates to Detroit/Idanha. 

ODOT officials continue to use pilot cars in the Santiam Canyon to move drivers through numerous work zones where hazard trees are being removed. 

The updated pilot car schedule is:  

  • 7:30 a.m. Detroit to Gates
  • 9 a.m. Gates to Detroit
  • 11 a.m.  Detroit to Gates
  • 1 p.m. Gates to Detroit
  • 5 p.m. Detroit to Gates
  • 6 p.m. Gates to Detroit

Transportation officials are also moving one of the roadblocks from milepost 50.5 to around 46.7 to allow for access into Mongold State Park for bathroom and other facilities starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday.   

Officials will use the state park to stage residents wanting to get into the pilot car line. 

Travel on Highway 22E between Gates and Detroit/Idanha continues to be by pilot car only, officials with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said. Commuters will not be able to access the Santiam Pass on the highway at this time.  

Community members are asked to remain vigilant and watch for hazards along the road such as damaged and downed trees, downed power lined and clean-up crews. 

Updated pilot car schedules can be found at

Marion County: Evacuation level updates

Officials from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office reduced evacuation levels in several areas Wednesday afternoon after “close consultation with fire management” authorities. 

Here are the evacuation Levels as of 4 p.m.:

Level 3 – “Go”

Level 2 – “Be Set”

  • OR 22E corridor east of Detroit Dam to milepost 56.2
  • Detroit
  • Idanha
  • Opal Creek Wilderness / Jawbone Flats

Level 1 – “Ready”

  • Elkhorn
  • Gates east of Gates Hill Road
  • OR 22E corridor Gates Hill Road east to Detroit Dam

A detailed map of evacuation areas within Marion County can be found at

As evacuation levels are reduced many public and private forest lands remain closed to public access, officials from the sheriff’s office said. 

Before entering private and public forest lands, residents need to confirm if the area has been reopened to public access, regardless of the evacuation level, officials said. This information may be found by visiting websites for the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry and by contacting private landowners. 

Virginia Barreda is the breaking news and public safety reporter for the Statesman Journal. She can be reached at 503-399-6657 or at vbar[email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @vbarreda2. 

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