Monday, July 3, 2017

Firefighters tackle new fire on the west side of Grizzly Mountain north of Prineville, OR

The Grizzly Fire was reported around 2 pm Monday afternoon, burning near Grizzly Mountain Road approximately nine miles northwest of Prineville.  The fire is burning on private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, Crook County Fire and Rescue, BLM Prineville District lands, and the Crooked River National Grassland. Initially reported at fifteen acres, the fire has quickly grown to over 200 acres, burning in cheat grass, sagebrush and juniper.

The Crook County Sheriff has issued a Level 3 Evacuation for approximately twelve residences along Grizzly Mountain Road and a Level 1 Evacuation for an additional twelve homes along McCoin Road. Level 3 Evacuation means EVACUATE immediately, leave NOW.  Level 1 Evacuation means BE READY for the potential of evacuation. 

More than 75 firefighters from the USFS, ODF and BLM are working together in suppression efforts; joined by resources from Crook County Fire and Rescue and two task forces of structural engines from the Central Oregon Interface Task Force. These task forces are comprised of resources from structural fire departments throughout central Oregon. In addition, firefighters were supported today by 3 helicopters, 4 Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) and 2 heavy airtankers. Efforts were successful in preventing any homes or buildings from being lost. 
Additional fire crews will staff the fire during the night, taking advantage of cooler nighttime temperatures and decreased fire behavior to flank the fire and hold and improve existing firelines. A local Type 3 interagency Incident Management Team will take control of the fire at 6 a.m. on July 4th.  The fire is human-caused, but the specific cause remains under investigation.

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