Sunday, August 20, 2017

Milli Fire / Belknap Fire - August 20, 2017, 8:30 am

Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team 2 (Pierson)
Fire Information Line: 541-316-7711
Twitter: @CentralORFire
Location of Origin: 9 miles west of Sisters, OR
Start date: August 11, 2017, 2:42 pm
Size: Approximately 8,014 acres
Percent Contained: 0%
Cause: Lightning
Resources Assigned: Approximately 500 personnel  
Vegetation: Higher elevation; Mixed conifers. Lower elevations; ponderosa pine, juniper trees, sagebrush

There will be more smoke visible today as firefighters continue burn out operations to strengthen and connect fire lines. On Saturday, the fire grew on the east flank to the north and south as firefighters completed a fire line on the southeast corner of the fire to protect Whychus Creek and properties to the east and northeast. Heavy and lighter fuels on the north side of the fire were cleared with burn-out operations and heavy equipment, including masticators and dozers - those operations will continue today. Weather is expected to continue to be a challenge, with the possibility of wind driven embers igniting spot fires ahead of the main fire. The main focus will be to protect infrastructure, structures and other values by holding lines already constructed and building new ones.

Air operations will continue to play an important part. There will be four Type 1 helicopters and one Type 3 dedicated to the Milli Fire, along with four large air tankers and a VLAT (very large air tanker). Additional aircraft are shared throughout the region depending on individual incident needs. The weather forecast calls for highs in the 80’s in the lower elevations and highs in the 70’s in the higher elevations. Winds will continue to be somewhat erratic, with gusts to 15 mph.  

The fire received  reinforcements of two task forces that are working on structure protection. The new crews are with the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office and join other crews already in the field and consist of eight engines, two water tenders and and two task force leaders.

The Oregon Department of Forestry, Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, Oregon State Fire Marshall’s Office, and Oregon Department of Transportation, is cooperating with the Southwest Area Incident Management Team to manage what has become the highest priority fire in the region.

Smoke monitoring information is available at:  Anyone concerned with the effects of smoke in the region or who has possible health concerns related to smoke can go to this site to see smoke monitoring data and get additional information.

Level 3 - The subdivisions of Crossroads, Edgington/Remuda, Wildwing, Peterson Burn Road Area, and along both sides of Three Creeks Lake Road (Forest Road 16) about one mile south of Sisters from the junction of the Brooks Scanlon logging road.
Level 1 - The subdivision of Tollgate

Road Closures:
OR242 east of Cascade Crest to the junction of Forest Road 15. For further information see

Forest Closures:
There is an area closure in place in the Deschutes National Forest, due to fire activity. For more information:
On the Belknap Fire, containment is at 75% and crews are continuing to work toward 100% containment. While fire behavior has been  minimal, crews have seen some activity on the southeast corner of the fire. The fire is located 20 miles northeast of Prineville in the Mill Creek Wilderness. The Belknap Fire was sparked by lightning and reported on August 11 at 11:27 am (PDT).

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