Thursday, June 29, 2017

Firefighters Will Execute Burn Out Operations on Sheep Springs Fire Today

Planned Ignitions Begin This Morning To Secure Fire Lines

Sisters – Firefighters will begin a burn out operation this morning on the Sheep Springs Fire approximately 20 miles north of Sisters in the Brush Creek drainage on the Deschutes National Forest. The burn out could take up to two days to complete.

Fire personnel have spent two days constructing fire line by hand and with heavy equipment, and preparing roads for a burn out operation that will begin this morning. The Sheep Springs Fire is burning in the 2003 B & B Fire scar and now is in an area predominantly covered in snags, which are structurally weakened trees that pose a serious overhead hazard for firefighters. Indirectly suppressing the fire with a burn out operation allows firefighters to minimize their exposure to overhead hazards while consuming fuels between the active fire area and a containment lines.

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 will be used as a dip site for helicopters should water drops become necessary. Access to roads around the fire perimeter may be limited on Thursday 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, several engines, falling bosses and miscellaneous overhead.

The Sheep Springs Fire has grown to 63 acres since it was discovered early Monday morning. 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.

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