Friday, August 19, 2016

Firefighters Tackle New Fire in Central Oregon

Central Ore. – Resources on the Sheridan Fire burning near Sunriver, Oregon were bumped over to help with a new start on Tumalo Mountain across from Mount Bachelor. Incident #516 started this afternoon and had the potential to grow rapidly. Fortunately there were engines, handcrews and helicopters nearby – resources that could be sent over from the Sheridan. An airtanker out of Redmond supported the efforts and the main fire was held this afternoon at an acre with numerous spots spread out over a 6-acre area. Firefighters handled several spot fires around the main fire as well. Crews will continue working on building the fireline overnight and mopping up any hotspots. The cause of this fire is under investigation.

Firefighters continued working on the Sheridan Fire as well, and the fire is now 35% contained. The fire did not grow although the fire smoldered and occasionally torched trees within the fire perimeter. Firefighters also found and quickly suppressed two ¼ acre spots fires that started outside the fireline. The fire remains staffed with about 275 personnel, and crews will continue mopping up over the next several days. The cause remains under investigation.

The road closures for the Sheridan will remain in effect until tomorrow morning. At 5:00 a.m. the 45 Road that runs from Sunriver toward Mt. Bachelor will open to through traffic; this afternoon fire officials made the decision to keep the 40 and 4220 Roads closed due to the high number of until the hazard trees in the area. The roads will remain closed until the snags are removed and the road is safe for travel.

The Deschutes River remains open between Harper’s Bridge and the Sunriver Resort Marina; however, the closure could be reinstated if helicopters need to use the spot for dipping.

Continued hot and dry weather will challenge firefighters working on existing fires and increase the potential for a new start to spread rapidly. Fire officials are asking everyone to use caution when recreating out in the woods and rangelands – make sure campfires are out when someone isn’t there to watch them, dispose of cigarettes properly, and avoid parking over vegetation.


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