Firefighter safety remains top priority as crews finalize burn out operations and begin mop upSisters –Firefighters are finishing burnout operations today and will begin mop up, extinguishing hot spots and fire along the perimeter. Yesterday, crews were able to successfully complete burnout operations using existing roads and constructed containment lines to create a secure perimeter. Interior areas will continue to burn producing smoke in the area.
Mop up operations along the perimeter will begin today cleaning up the line. The objective is to secure the lines while maintaining firefighter safety. Fire officials are managing the Sheep Springs Fire for full suppression using existing roads to create containment lines. By using existing roads, fire officials can reduce firefighters’ exposure to overhead hazards.
Currently the burned area is 406 acres. As the fire continues to burn within the containment area, the total acreage burned will reach 705 acres, which is the acreage within the perimeter of the fire.
The Sheep Springs Fire, burning in an area previously burned by the B & B Fire in 2003, is located in an area predominantly covered in snags, which are often structurally weakened and pose a serious hazard for fire personnel. Due to the extremely hazardous nature of the incident’s location, Deschutes National Forest leadership and fire officials are implementing tactics that, most importantly, provide for firefighter and public safety.
There are currently no closures in effect for the Sheep Springs Fire. There will be increased fire traffic in the Metolius Basin area and around the town of Sisters. Bridge 99 along the Metolius River may be used as a dip site for helicopters should water drops become necessary. Access to roads around the fire perimeter may be limited on Friday during burnout operations.
A local Type 3 Incident Management Team took command of the fire on Tuesday morning. Current resources include 1 hotshot crew, 2 dozers, 2 Type-2 initial attack crews, 2 Type-2 handcrews, 2 water tenders, falling bosses and miscellaneous overhead.
The fire, a result of two lightning-struck trees, is burning approximately 20 miles north of Sisters in the Brush Creek drainage less than a mile northeast of Sheep Springs Campground and roughly a half mile west of Forest Road 12. The fire is approximately 406 acres and will continue to grow as fire continues to progress interior of the fire perimeter.
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