US199 Reopens After Extended Smith River Complex Fire Closure

US199, commonly known as the Redwood Highway, has reopened between O’Brien and the California border over the weekend after a period of closure due to fire activity from the Smith River Complex. This development comes as a relief to travelers in the region. However, motorists are urged to exercise caution as fire conditions remain active.

The closure of US199 was a precautionary measure taken in response to the Smith River Complex fires, which posed a significant threat to both travelers and the surrounding areas. Reductions in fire evacuation levels and the reopening of US199 in California have allowed authorities to resume access to this vital transportation route.

Motorists are advised to remain aware of their surroundings while driving through the area. The Smith River Complex fires are still ongoing, and fire vehicles may be present. It’s essential to stay informed and be prepared for the possibility of further closures should fire conditions change unexpectedly.

Paving work on US199 between Cave Junction and the California border had been temporarily halted in late August due to hazardous air quality resulting from nearby wildfires. Construction is set to resume on Sunday, September 10, with potential lane closures, primarily during nighttime hours. Flaggers and pilot cars will be in place to assist with traffic control. Travelers should anticipate congestion and potential delays of up to 20 minutes. To ensure safety, motorists are urged to reduce their speed, exercise caution, and maintain extra space between vehicles.

Caltrans is actively managing traffic on US199 south of the Oregon border, particularly in areas affected by wildfires. Pilot cars are guiding vehicles through the affected zones, utilizing a single lane. As of this release, travelers are advised to prepare for delays of up to an hour in this region. For real-time updates on traffic conditions in California, please visit

Given the combined delays resulting from construction and traffic management in California, individuals traveling between the Rogue Valley and the coast are encouraged to explore alternative routes or consider delaying their trips when possible.

You can track this fire through our 2023 Wildfire Season partner’s Wildfire Aware app.

Source: ODOT

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