Friday, September 22, 2017

9/22/2017 Horse Creek Complex Fire Update


September 22, 2017 - 9:00 a.m.


Fire Information: 541-719-8371 or email: WillametteWildfires2017@gmail.com


Rebel Fire:  8,653 acres
Horse Creek Complex: Olallie Lookout Fire, 1,572 acres; Roney Fire, 3,548 acres; Avenue Fire, 2,962 acres; Separation Fire, 17,747 acres; Nash Fire, 6,738 acres.
Total all fires: 41,220 acres (The last infrared flight was conducted on 9/15. No change in acreage has been measured since 9/15.)

Resources:  Personnel, 403; Crews, 7; Helicopters, 1; Engines, 24; Water Tenders, 4; Skidgen, 1.

Weather: Remote weather stations in the area of the Horse Creek Complex and Rebel fire measured precipitation from 4 to nearly 6 inches since Sunday night. Thursday brought fewer showers and diminished clouds with occasional sunshine. A warming and drying trend will continue through the weekend with each day gaining a few degrees until temperatures in the 70s return early next week. Fire spread is still not anticipated to occur even with a return of warmer and dryer weather.

Next Steps: Firefighter crews have transitioned from protecting the public from fire to removing equipment from the field and repairing fire lines and other disturbances left by suppression efforts. Fire managers use the term “suppression repair” to describe efforts taken after a fire to repair impacts to the land. Before leaving the fire, crews may construct berms and spread brush and rocks onto the cut lines and bare ground that were created during firefighting efforts. Water bars may be constructed on hand and dozer lines to divert water to reduce soil erosion and prevent gullies from forming. Also, crews will remove refuse, flagging, and other equipment as part of their efforts to restore the land to a more natural condition.

Current Situation: Crews are currently being limited by their ability to get into work areas due to snow, mud and soft roads. Where access was possible, crews pulled hose, flagging and excess equipment, scattered debris and repaired hand lines. Rocks and logs that had rolled out of burns were removed from roads. Equipment was removed from Camp Malakwa and structure protection is being lifted throughout the complex. Roads are currently too soft to support heavy equipment that is needed to repair fire lines. Complete access won’t be possible until roads are dryer.

Chipping equipment that has been ordered will arrive beginning Friday and crews will be trained on equipment operation. Some slash piles built during firefighting efforts will be chipped, others have been burned. Survey flights are planned for Friday if weather permits. Firefighter and public welfare and safety remains a priority. Slash removal is continuing along the Cascade Lakes Highway.

National Forest Closure Orders:  Fire restrictions have been lifted in Willamette and Deschutes National Forests, and campfires are now allowed. Current information about closures on the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=fseprd552029
http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/Deschutes/alerts-notices.

Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in place over the fires to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operations. It is not legal to operate any aircraft (including drones) within a TFR. More information on the TFR is available at http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html

Upper Beaver prescribed burn planned for Ochocos this week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, September 22, 2017
Upper Beaver prescribed burn planned for Ochocos this week

PRINEVILLE, Ore.— Fire managers on the Ochoco National Forest will take advantage of recent moisture to start working on the Upper Beaver prescribed burn next week on the Paulina Ranger District, a project to reduce hazardous fuels and improve habitat across 3,800 acres just south of Black Canyon Wilderness.

Ignitions are expected to begin around 11 am Tuesday and last 2 to 3 days with smoke lingering in the area for the rest of the week.

“We realize most people are just now breathing a sigh of relief that fire season is winding down,” said Paulina District Ranger Gary Asbridge. “But this is our opportunity to reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest health during a time of our choosing, rather than waiting for a lightning strike or an escaped campfire to burn those fuels during the summer.”

Objectives for the burn are to improve natural resources within the unit by reducing hazardous fuels and improving big game habitat while restoring fire to a fire-adapted ponderosa pine ecosystem. The unit is just west of the 2015 Corner Creek Fire that burned nearly 30,000 acres.
The prescribed burn is planned to fall in between archery and rifle deer hunting seasons, in order to impact hunters as little as possible. Smoke will be visible from Paulina, 13 miles to the southeast, and from Mud Springs and Frazier Campgrounds, but is not expected to close any roads to motorized traffic.

This is a continuation of a project started last year. Firefighters completed blacklines around the unit last October and then heavy precipitation prevented them from actually starting any interior ignitions. Next week, fire managers plan to use aerial ignitions delivered from a helicopter to create low-intensity interior burns while strengthening control lines around the burn to prevent it from moving outside the planned unit.

Prescribed burning is part of a Forest Service program to remove hazardous fuels in order to reduce the potential for high-intensity uncharacteristic fire, while restoring low-intensity fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem and improving range and forest health.

Prescribed burning is a proactive approach to fire management, reintroducing fire in a planned, low-intensity manner that benefits the resources, instead of waiting for an unplanned ignition, such as lightning, to start a wildfire that requires an expensive suppression response and can burn with destructive intensity.


The Forest Service appreciates public tolerance of increased smoke and vehicle traffic in support of these restoration goals.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Desolation Fire Evacuation Level 1 Cancelled

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Re:         Press Release – For immediate distribution
From:    Crook County Sheriff’s Office

Desolation Fire Evacuation Level 1 Cancelled

The Crook County Sheriff’s office has cancelled all fire evacuation notices in the Marks Creek area based on reports from the Fire Service of normal conditions and no increase in fire behavior on the Desolation fire. 

A temporary road closure order remains in effect for all of Mill Creek Wilderness and Forest Service land north of the wilderness up to and including Forest Roads 27, 2730 and 2745.  The Forest Service indicated that the road closures will end in the next few days as well.

In the event of an actual EMERGENCY:  Please Dial 911

For more information please contact:
Crook County Public Information Officer
Crook County Health and Human Services / Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
541-233-8504 – Work Cell

9/21/2017 Horse Creek Complex Update


September 21, 2017 - 9:00 a.m.

Fire Information: 541-719-8371 or email: WillametteWildfires2017@gmail.com

Rebel Fire:  8,653 acres
Horse Creek Complex: Olallie Lookout Fire, 1,572 acres; Roney Fire, 3,548 acres; Avenue Fire, 2,962 acres; Separation Fire, 17,747 acres; Nash Fire, 6,738 acres.
Total all fires: 41,220 acres (The last infrared flight was conducted on 9/15. No change in acreage has been measured since 9/15.)

Resources:  Personnel, 449; Crews, 8; Helicopters, 2; Engines, 21; Dozers, 2; Water Tenders, 6.

Weather: Widespread rain and snow continued to fall on Wednesday, bringing the total amount of precipitation over the fire area to 4-5 inches in the past four days. Scattered rain and snow showers were expected to continue into Wednesday night, with skies beginning to clear after midnight. Temperatures were forecast to drop into the upper 20s overnight. Scattered rain and snow showers will continue Thursday before skies begin to clear in the afternoon and evening.

The precipitation and cold weather the last few days has severely dampened fire activity and presented a new set of challenges for firefighters and fire managers. The biggest concerns now are the increased potential for falling trees, hazardous driving conditions and rock fall caused by the snow and rain. The Oregon Department of Transportation has assisted firefighting efforts by clearing snow and rocks off roads, providing access for firefighters in several areas. As always, firefighter and public safety remains the primary concern.

Current Situation: Despite the severe weather, it was a productive day for firefighters on Wednesday. Crews spent much of the day pulling fire hose and retrieving pumps that had been strategically placed along firelines in the event they were needed. Firefighters have pulled approximately 15 miles of fire hose from the Avenue, Nash, Rebel and Separation fires and that work will continue today. Crews are also removing other equipment that is no longer needed and hauling it back to fire camps.

With the change in the weather, the emphasis is now on suppression repair and rehabilitation.  Agency Administrators, Resource Advisors and fire managers are collaborating on a plan that will guide those efforts over the next week. The main focus is repairing and rehabilitating hand and dozer lines that were constructed to contain and confine fires in the Horse Creek Complex. In other areas, crews are chipping slash that was cut and building water bars to prevent erosion due to runoff. In many areas the ground is too wet to run heavy equipment and will have to dry out before it can be worked on. In the meantime, fire managers are assessing work that needs to be done and placing orders for the equipment to do it. “The weather and availability of equipment are the limiting factors right now,” Operations Planning Chief Karen Scholl said.


Evacuations:  All evacuation orders in Lane County (Zones 1-10 and Camp Malakwa) and in Deschutes County have been lifted. All U.S. Forest Service closures remain in effect.

National Forest Closure Orders:  Fire restrictions have been lifted in Willamette and Deschutes National Forests, and campfires are now allowed. Current information about closures on the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=fseprd552029
http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/Deschutes/alerts-notices.

Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in place over the fires to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operations. It is not legal to operate any aircraft (including drones) within a TFR. More information on the TFR is available at http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Public Use Restrictions and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level Will Drop on Wednesday

Redmond, Oregon – With consistently cooler nights and reduced fire activity around the Pacific Northwest, the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management, the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland are lifting campfire restrictions effective 12:01 a.m. September 20, (Wednesday) on public lands in Central Oregon. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will drop to Level 2, which means that personal firewood cutting is again allowed between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.

For the reduction in Public Use Restrictions, open fires, including charcoal fires, will be allowed. Be aware that some federal sites still have campfire restrictions such as Hosmer Lake, and that the seasonal restrictions on BLM-administered lands in the following areas remain in effect:

Until September 30, 2016:
On public lands within 1/4 mile of the river’s edge in the following locations:
Mainstem John Day River from Tumwater Falls (River Mile 10) upstream to Kimberly (River Mile 185);
North Fork John Day River, from the confluence with the mainstem at Kimberly (River Mile 0) upstream to the Umatilla National Forest boundary (River Mile 62);
South Fork John Day River from Smokey Creek (River Mile 6) upstream to Malheur National Forest boundary (River Mile 47).

 Until October 15, 2016:
 Crooked River - Within ½ mile of the river’s edge along the Lower Crooked River from the Highway 97 Bridge to Lake Billy Chinook.
Deschutes River - Within ½ mile of the river’s edge from the Highway 20 bridge to Lake Billy Chinook; including all BLM-administered lands north of the Jefferson county line and between the Deschutes River and
Crooked River. Within ½ mile of Lake Simtustus (between Round Butte Dam and Pelton Dam)
Within the Lower Deschutes National Wild and Scenic River corridor (Pelton Dam to the Columbia River)
Lake Billy Chinook - Those public lands located within ½ mile of Lake Billy Chinook; including BLM Beach dispersed recreation site located approximately ½ mile east of the Three Rivers Recreation Area on the south shore of the Metolius River Arm of the lake.
White River - Within ½ mile of the river’s edge from its confluence with the Deschutes River upstream to the eastern boundary of the Mount Hood National Forest.

At the same time, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL), which regulates permitted and commercial activities on federal lands, will drop to a Level II (called a Partial Hootowl). Under this level, commercial and personal woodcutting, welding, cable yarding and blasting is allowed, where authorized, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. with a minimum of a one-hour fire watch following activity.

Officials want to remind the public that using explosive target material, such as Tannerite, explosives, and fireworks continue to be prohibited on all federal lands.

Officials carefully consider the current fire situation, fuel moisture and predicted weather before making the decision to lift fire restrictions. Fire Officials want to remind people recreating on public lands to continue to use caution even though fall is approaching and temperatures are cooling down; wildfires are still possible. All campfires, including warming fires used by hunters, should be cold to the touch when not being watched. Every fire that’s prevented protects our communities and helps our firefighters remain available, rested, and safe.

For Central Oregon Fire Information Fire hotline, please call 541-316-7711 or keep up-to-date on fire activity by following us on Twitter at @CentralORFire.


-End-

Nash Fire Update, September 19

Crews removed wildfire shelter wrap from the Forest Service guard station along Cascade Lakes Highway. Crews also pulled sprinklers, hoses, and pumps that were protecting cabins at Elk Lake. Crews are removing and cleaning up slash along the Cascade Lakes Highway.  Drivers are cautioned to drive safely in areas where firefighters and heavy equipment are working.

Monday, September 18, 2017

9/18/2017 All Evacuation Levels Dropped for the Nash Fire


ALL NASH FIRE EVACUATION NOTICES DROPPED
 

News Release from Deschutes Co. Sheriff's Office Posted on FlashAlert: September 18th, 2017 2:40 PM Released by: Sgt. Nathan Garibay, Emergency Services Manager
 

The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office has continued to coordinate with fire managers on the Nash Fire, which is part of the Horse Creek Complex. After discussion with the incident management team and the Deschutes National Forest; the Sheriff's Office will drop all pre-evacuation notices around Elk Lake due to the Nash fire at 3 PM today (Monday, September 18th).

This includes the following areas: Elk Lake Resort, Elk Lake CG, Point CG, Little Fawn CG, Mallard Marsh CG, Sunset View Day Use Area, Beach Day Use Area, and Quinn Meadows Horse Camp.

This does not affect any area closures implemented by the United States Forest Service. Please check the following links for more information on trail and area closures.
 
Deschutes National Forest Trail Closures:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd557599.pdf

 Willamette National Forest Trail Closures:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=fseprd552029#ave
 
The Sheriff's Office will continue to coordinate with the United States Forest Service and the incident management team assigned to the fire.

Contact Info:
SheriffPIO@deschutes.org<mailto:SheriffPIO@deschutes.org>

9/18/2017 Horse Creek Complex Map


 

9/18/2017 Horse Creek Complex (Nash Fire) and Rebel Fire Update

Horse Creek Complex and Rebel Fire
Update for Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, 9 a.m. Fire Information: (541) 719-8371


Online: inciweb.nwcg.gov/unit/3860
https//facebook.com/WillametteWildfires2017

Willamettewildfires2017@gmail.com
Rebel Fire: 8,653 acres

Horse Creek Complex: Olallie Lookout Fire, 1,572 acres; Roney Fire, 3,548 acres; Avenue Fire, 2,962 acres; Separation Fire, 17,747 acres; Nash Fire, 6,738 acres.

Total all fires: 41,220 acres (An IR flight was unable to be conducted last night so no change in acreage could be measured.)

Current Resources: Personnel, 375; Crews, 10; Helicopters, 4; Engines, 19; Dozers, 2; Water Tenders, 3; Skidgens, 2.

Current Situation:
Weather: A definite change of weather pattern is underway today. The forecast calls for southwest winds gusting up to 35 mph along ridges. A prolonged wetting rain event continues with accumulation of up to 1” by Tuesday morning. Weather will be the deciding factor on field operations today.

Avenue Fire: The fire continues to advance downslope and to the west towards containment lines. Crews are beginning to inventory and remove pumps and hose that are not needed from along roads. Crews will monitor fire lines. Smoldering fuels will continue to produce some smoke.

Separation Fire: The fire continues to move north toward the Mount Washington Wilderness. A burn out completed the fireline on the western edge of the fire north of Hwy 242. Site protection is in place at the Melakwa Boy Scout camp and fuels around the camp have been burned out by handcrews. Crews will continue mop-up and removing hazard trees at Melakwa Boy Scout Camp as weather today permits.

Nash Fire: Crews will pull structure protection in the Elk Lake area and remove unused equipment along the Cascade Lakes Highway as well as signs and flagging marking drop points. Crews are cleaning up brush and removing slash from the fuel break along the highway. Travelers are advised to use caution when passing fire crews and heavy equipment operating in the area.

Rebel Fire: As weather allows, crews will continue direct control efforts on the southwest side of the Rebel fire to protect values within the Green Mountain Timber Sale. They will also remove unused hose and downed logs along the 19 Road.

Roney and Olallie Lookout Fires: Crews are monitoring both fires.

Evacuations: No change was noted in evacuation levels in the McKenzie areas. Lane County information and

maps are available at http://bit.ly/2gPHzAn. Deschutes County information is available from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, (541) 693-6911 or www.deschutes.org/emergency.

Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fires to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operations. It is not legal to operate any aircraft (including drones) within a TFR. More information on the TFR is available at http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html

National Forest Closure Orders: Current information about closures on the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=fseprd552029
 
http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/Deschutes/alerts-notices.

9/18/2017 Milli Fire Closure Area Changes


Contact: Jean Nelson-Dean, Public Affairs Officer, 541-383-5561

For Release:    September 18, 2017

 
Milli Fire Closure Area Changes

 
SISTERS- The fire closure for the Milli Fire has reduced as of 7 a.m. this morning.
The Whychus Overlook and parking lot as well as the access trail are reopened.

The Whychus River Trail and all other sites within the Milli Closure Area remain closed.
Closed Trails and Sites are:

·         Camp Lake Trail #4074
·         Dearis Lake Trail #4074.1
·         Park Meadow Trail #4075
·         Metolius Windigo Trail #99 from the Graham Corral Horse Camp to the trail junction with Park Meadow Trail #4075
·         Green Lakes Trail #17 is closed from Park Meadow Trail #4075 to Lava Camp Lake at Hwy 242
·         Black Crater Trail #4058
·         Millican Crater Trail #4066
·         Scott Pass Trail #4068
·         North Matthieu Lake Trail #4062
·         Trout Creek Tie Trail #4067
·         Chush Falls Trail #4080
·         Pole Creek Trail #4072
·         Whychus Creek Trail
·         Millian Crater Trailhead
·         Scott Pass Trailhead
·         Whispering Pines Campground
·         Sisters Cow Camp
·         Lava Camp Lake Campground 

For additional information, the public can contact the Sisters Ranger District at 541-549-7700.

-USFS-

Sunday, September 17, 2017

9/17/2017 Map of the Desolation Fire


9/16/2017 Horse Creek Complex and Rebel Fire Update

Horse Creek Complex and Rebel Fire
Update for Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, 9 a.m.
Fire Information: (541) 719-8371

Online: inciweb.nwcg.gov/unit/3860
https//facebook.com/WillametteWildfires2017
Willamettewildfires2017@gmail.com

Rebel Fire: 8,653 acres

Horse Creek Complex: Olallie Lookout Fire, 1,572 acres; Roney Fire, 3,548 acres; Avenue Fire, 2,962 acres; Separation Fire, 17,747 acres; Nash Fire, 6,738 acres.

Total all fires: 41,220 acres (The team was unable to conduct IR flights last night so no change in acreage could be measured.)

Current Resources: Personnel, 496; Crews, 12; Helicopters, 2; Engines, 25; Dozers, 3; Water Tenders, 5; Masticators, 2; Skidgens, 2. 

Current Situation:
Weather: The Horse Creek Complex and Rebel Fire crews are bracing for a significant weather event beginning Sunday. Southwest winds gusting up to 30 mph are forecast to be followed by several days of rain which could bring up to 3.48”. Snow is possible at elevations above 6000 feet. Still, dry fuels could see fire growth in drainages that align with the wind. During this event, firefighter welfare becomes a priority. Incident managers will use judgement to adjust how crews approach the fires.

Avenue Fire: The Avenue fire is the top priority. Crews have successfully held the fire to the 300 Road on the north. Crews with the Structure Protection Group are assessing areas at McKenzie Bridge and are prepared in the event that wind causes fire to threaten structures. Smoke will continue as dry fuels smolder and burn.

Separation Fire: Structures at Melakwa Boy Scout Camp, Scott Lake Campground and Frog Camp are secure, and firefighters remain on scene ready to act if needed due to the anticipated change in weather. 


Nash Fire: Firefighters again hiked the seven miles to monitor the fire. Little movement of the fire has been noted along the southeast edge toward the Cascade Lakes Highway. Crews are cleaning up brush and removing slash from the fuel break along the highway. Travel delays, limited visibility due to smoke, and heavy equipment traffic are expected. Pilot car activity is not expected to continue beyond Sunday. 


Rebel Fire: Crews will hold and improve their control lines, as impending weather may push the fire to challenge their work.

Roney and Olallie Lookout Fires: Crews are monitoring both fires.

Evacuations: No change was noted in evacuation levels in the McKenzie areas. Lane County information and maps is available at http://bit.ly/2gPHzAn. Deschutes County information is available from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, (541) 693-6911 or www.deschutes.org/emergency.

Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fires to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operations. It is not legal to operate any aircraft (including drones) within a TFR. More information on the TFR is available at http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html

National Forest Closure Orders: Current information about closures on the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=fseprd552029 http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/Deschutes/alerts-notices.

9/16/2017 Central Oregon Fire Update

 
Contact:  Media Desk:  541-316-7711           Email:  Centralorfireinfo@gmail.com
Twitter:  @CentralORfire                              Blog: CentralORfireinfo.blogspot.com

 
FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

For Immediate Release:  September 16, 2017

Central Oregon Fire Update

CENTRAL, ORE – Fire crews, engines and air tankers responded quickly to a fire that broke near Boyd Cave south of Bend, Ore (#1174) late yesterday afternoon.

The Boyd Cave fire showed moderate fire behavior in timber and juniper. Six engines, 2 crews, 5 air tankers, a dozer and a water tender responded to the fire and by evening had the fire contained to 26 acres. Firefighters will mop-up and patrol the fire today.

The closure on the Milli Fire of the Whychus Overlook Trailhead and trail will be lifted at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.  All areas west of Forest Road 16 on the Sisters Ranger District will remain closed and all other closures for the fire will remain.

The Desolation Fire did experience some growth yesterday and is now at 3,428 acres. All growth was within planned containment lines with most of it was from planned burnout operations being done along Forest Road 27 to contain the fire. There was some growth on the north end of the fire toward Whistler Point.

The public will see smoke coming from the Desolation Fire today as burnout operations on the fire continue. A temporary closure order remains in effect for all of Mill Creek Wilderness and national forest lands north of the wilderness up to and including Forest Roads 27, 2730 and 2745.

Central Oregon is expected to see wetting rain beginning the evening and through Monday. This rain should help clear smoke from the air and reduce fire activity on the larger fires in the area, including Milli, Desolation and Nash.

An open fire ban remains in effect for all federal lands in Central Oregon.

-END-

Friday, September 15, 2017

Desolation Fire Update Sept. 15

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                     September 15, 2017                                                                                     
Desolation Fire Update
This will be the last update for the weekend unless conditions change

Central Oregon – The Desolation Fire experienced moderate growth yesterday evening, all within Mill Creek Wilderness and within planned containment lines, for an updated total acreage of 1,916 acres. The fire is still 0 percent contained.

Crews completed line construction and burnout operations along Highway 26 yesterday, between mileposts 45 and 50 and up to Forest Road 27, protecting private property east of the fire. Crook County lowered the evacuation notice for about 30 private homes in the Mark’s Creek area to a Level 1 (Get Ready) as of this morning. Unless the fire moves toward the east, there are no more burnouts planned along Highway 26.

Firefighters continue prepping the northern containment line along Forest Road 27 with feller bunchers and other heavy equipment to form a “catcher’s mitt” with containment lines along the highway, should the fire grow toward the northeast. Crews also removed fuels around Whistler Campground and Bingham Springs Trailhead and around private property near the highway.

The Desolation Fire is still mainly a ground fire, burning through dead and down timber and shrubs within the 2000 Hash Rock Fire scar. The most active fire growth yesterday was a flank that burned south down Desolation Canyon within Mill Creek Wilderness. Resources will be looking at options today to prep roadways to the south and southwest to use for containment should the fire make any significant progress in that direction. No burnouts are planned, but would occur if needed.

A total of 206 firefighters are currently assigned to the Desolation Fire, and available aviation resources include air attack, air tankers, super scoopers, and a Type 2 helicopter.

Heavy smoke settled over the fire area and Highway 26 overnight, but should clear somewhat today with no burnout operations planned. Motorists are still urged to use caution when travelling over Ochoco Divide to watch out for smoke, emergency traffic, or bystanders who may be watching suppression activities. Cooler temperatures and higher humidity predicted for the weekend should help moderate fire behavior, but late afternoon winds may continue to create periods of fire growth.

A temporary closure order remains in effect for all of Mill Creek Wilderness and Forest Service land north of the wilderness up to and including Forest Roads 27, 2730 and 2745.




EVACUATION LEVEL LOWERED FOR THE DESOLATION FIRE

Friday, September 15, 2017

Re:         Press Release – For immediate distribution
From:    Crook County Sheriff’s Office

EVACUATION LEVEL LOWERED FOR THE DESOLATION FIRE

The Crook County Sheriff’s office has continued to coordinate with fire managers on the Desolation Fire as well as the Ochoco National Forest.  Due to current and expected conditions on the Desolation Fire, we are lowering the evacuation levels as follows:

Level 2 (Set) to Level 1 (Ready)

Level 1: Means "BE READY" for potential evacuation. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movements of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock. If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact you via an emergency notification system.

The Desolation fire stayed within planned containment lines through yesterday evening as firefighters worked through the day and into the night to keep the fire north of Highway 26 and protect adjacent private residences. An overnight infrared flight mapped the fire at 2252 acres and showed that most of yesterday’s fire growth occurred to the north and still within Mill Creek Wilderness. The fire is still 0 percent contained.

Forecasts call for cooler conditions with the chance of rain, which should help moderate fire behavior. Smoky conditions will continue today in the fire vicinity and along Highway 26 in the Ochoco Divide area due to fire suppression burnout operations and the wildfire. Motorists should use caution when travelling through the area. Residents who suffer from respiratory or heart conditions should monitor air quality and stay indoors or consider travelling to town until the air clears.

A temporary closure order remains in effect for all of Mill Creek Wilderness and Forest Service land north of the wilderness up to and including Forest Roads 27, 2730 and 2745.

In the event of an actual EMERGENCY:  Please Dial 911

For more information please contact:
Crook County Public Information Officer
Crook County Health and Human Services / Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
541-233-8504 – Work Cell

Thursday, September 14, 2017

EVACUATION LEVELS LOWERED IN THE ELK AND LAVA LAKE AREAS

News Release from Deschutes Co. Sheriff's Office
Posted on FlashAlert: September 14th, 2017 1:17 PM
Released by: Sgt. Nathan Garibay, Emergency Services Manager

The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office has continued to coordinate with fire managers on the Nash Fire as well as the Deschutes National Forest. Due to current and expected conditions on the Nash Fire, we are lowering evacuation levels as follows:

Level 2 (Set) to Level 1 (Ready):

Areas surrounding Elk Lake and Hosmer Lake including: Elk Lake Resort, Elk Lake Cabins, Elk Lake CG, Point CG, Little Fawn CG, Mallard Marsh CG, Sunset View Day Use Area, Beach Day Use Area, and Quinn Meadows Horse Camp.

Level 1: Means "BE READY" for potential evacuation. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movements of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock. If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact you via an emergency notification system.

The following areas are no longer under any evacuation notices:

Areas surrounding Lava Lake including: Areas surrounding Lava Lake and Little Lava Lake including: Lava Lake Resort, Lave Lake CG, and Little Lava Lake CG

This does not affect any area closures implemented by the Deschutes National Forest.

Current maps including evacuation areas can be found at:

https://arcg.is/D9OPi

The Sheriff's Office will continue to coordinate with the United States Forest Service and the incident management team assigned to the fire.

Desolation fire holds through the night

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                     September 14, 2017                                                                                     
Desolation fire holds through the night

Central Oregon – The Desolation fire stayed within planned containment lines through yesterday evening’s gusty winds as firefighters worked through the day and into the night to keep the fire north of Highway 26 and protect adjacent private residences. An overnight infrared flight mapped the fire at 1,568 acres and showed that most of yesterday’s fire growth occurred to the north and still within Mill Creek Wilderness. The fire is still 0 percent contained.

A Level 2 evacuation notice remains in effect for residents in the Mark’s Creek area. The Level 2 evacuation urges residents to stay alert and be prepared to leave if the need arises.

Around 195 firefighters are assigned to the fire and will continue working today on completing burnout operations along Forest Road 200, between the fire and private homes along Highway 26, with plans to continue northeast along Forest Roads 250 and 300 toward Cortez Creek. Crews with logging equipment will also continue working along Forest Road 27 to create a fuel break in the event the fire should move to the north. A structure protection group is working to remove fuels directly surrounding private homes.

Forecasts call for cloudy, cooler conditions with the chance of rain starting today, which should help moderate fire behavior. Smoky conditions will continue today in the fire vicinity and along Highway 26 in the Ochoco Divide area due to fire suppression burnout operations and the wildfire. Motorists should use caution when travelling through the area. Residents who suffer from respiratory or heart conditions should monitor air quality and stay indoors or consider travelling to town until the air clears.

There will be a community information meeting today at 5 pm at the Eastside Church, 3174 NE Third Street, in Prineville to share updates about the fire. 

A temporary closure order remains in effect for all of Mill Creek Wilderness and Forest Service land north of the wilderness up to and including Forest Roads 27, 2730 and 2745.

For more information, call (541) 316-7711 or follow us online at http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter at @CentralORFire






Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Partial Restriction of Cascade Lakes Highway

Traffic on a portion of the Cascades Lake Highway near Elk Lake will be restricted to one lane with a pilot car starting on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, to assure firefighter and public safety.
Lane restrictions are anticipated to be in effect through at least Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. Longer restrictions may be necessary.
Firefighters assigned to the Horse Creek Complex fires, which include the Nash and Separation Fires on the Willamette National Forest, are working along the roadway to clear a 300-foot firebreak.  Trees are being felled and decked in the area. Heavy equipment and trucks are parked along and in the highway.
In addition, visibility may be limited due to smoke in the area. The public should expect sporadic travel delays, limited visibility due to smoke and increased traffic from firefighting efforts along this portion of the Cascade Lakes Highway. 
For more information on this, the Nash Fire or any other fires in the Horse Creek Complex please call (541) 719-8371.
 

Firefighters make progress on Desolation Fire

Nearly 200 firefighters are working the Desolation Fire now, hoping to hold it through the afternoon and evening winds today. A Task Force of structure protection engines is helping out nearby homeowners create defensible space and clear brush. Five airtankers and a heavy helicopter have provided air support to cool hot spots along the line.

The helicopter was able to map the fire perimeter this afternoon, and the current acreage is 1,523. This is expected to grow somewhat as the fire is making short runs, and crews will be conducting burnouts to clean up any unburned fuel between the dozer lines and the main fire.

Smoke is expected to continue to impact Hwy. 26, and drivers should be prepared to slow down, turn on headlights, and use caution. The Level 2 (Get Set) Evacuation Order remains in effect for residents in the Marks Creek Area between mileposts 45-50 along Hwy. 26.

Residents looking toward the Cascades may be seeing smoke around Mt. Jefferson. This is not a new fire; the crews working the Whitewater Fire are reporting increased activity with the winds this afternoon.

The Hampton Fire, burning in the Prineville District BLM Cougar Wells Wilderness Study Area is now 100% contained at 840 acres.


Ochoco National Forest Adds Area Closure for Desolation Fire

To provide for public and firefighter safety, the Ochoco National Forest has implemented an area closure around the Desolation Fire this afternoon. Unless authorized by a Forest Officer, people are prohibited from being on roads, trails or any area within the closure, exempting Highway 26.

The closure roughly runs from Wildcat Campground north to the junction of FS Road 2745/2730, east along the 2730 to the Ochoco Divide Sno-Park, southwest to White Rock and tying into Wildcat again. The complete closure order and associated map can be found at the following link:

Desolation Fire Closure Order and Map

Nash Fire Update, September 13

There has not been much change in the perimeter during the last few days. It is still burning close to the edge of Nash Lake and is approximately 4 miles from Elk Lake. Crews and heavy equipment working along the Cascade Lakes Highway are removing dense vegetation and thinning trees to create a fuel break. They expect to finish in 5 to 7 days. The fuel break is being constructed to protect the Elk and Lava lakes areas and to halt fire spread to the east, in the event the fire moves over the Cascade Crest.


Desolation Fire near Prineville Grows and Prompts Evacuation Warnings

Strong wind gusts out of the northwest fanned the Desolation fire late yesterday afternoon, pushing the fire south out of the wilderness toward private structures along Highway 26 and prompting Level 2 evacuation notices for around 27 residences in the Marks Creek area along Hwy 26 between mileposts 45-50 late yesterday evening. The Level 2 evacuation notice (Get Set) remains in effect, urging residents to stay alert and be prepared to leave if the need arises.
The Desolation fire, a lightning start first reported Saturday in Mill Creek Wilderness on the Ochoco National Forest, is now estimated at about 2,000 acres.
A community information meeting will be held tomorrow, Thursday, September 14, at 5 pm in the Eastside Church in Prineville to share information about the fire.
Firefighters worked through the night putting in several miles of dozer line, and burning out along the line to remove fuel between the structures and Hwy 26 and the fire. Work continues today to strengthen and expand existing containment lines on the south, east and north sides of the wilderness. A Type 3 Central Oregon Incident Management Team will take command of the fire today, focusing on a confine and contain strategy for the fire and keeping the fire north of the highway.
Five airtankers are flying out of the Redmond Air Center, supporting ground resources by slowing the fire's progress and cooling actively burning flanks. Challenges today remain heavy fuel, warm temperatures and afternoon winds. A structure protection group will begin working to secure private residences in the area. Currently there are approximately 75 firefighters on scene, with six additional 20-person crews arriving today.
Smoky conditions are expected in the Ochoco Divide area today from both the wildfire and burnout operations. Travelers along Hwy 26 should use caution as smoke may drift onto the highway, and to expect heavy traffic from fire suppression resources. The highway is currently open, and ODOT workers will be on scene to help keep traffic moving safely through the area. For safety, drivers should slow down when encountering smoke, turn on headlights and proceed with caution. Please avoid pulling over to observe the fire or fire fighting operations.