Monday, September 4, 2017

COIDC Fire Update, September 4

Redmond, OR – Heavy smoke lifted in the afternoon but with clear skies and high temperatures, fire behavior increased on the large fires that firefighters are managing in Central Oregon.

Nash Fire – Firefighters and equipment continued fuels reduction for fire protection around the 40 plus recreation residences and historic Elk Lake Guard Station at Elk Lake yesterday. Removing low limbs, clearing brush, removing dense fuels and forest litter away from structures, as well as putting in pumps and hose where feasible. The structure protection group will continue triage of infrastructure in the Elk Lake area. Prep work has also begun from Elk Lake North along the Cascade Lakes Highway clearing brush and reducing fuels to prepare for burn out operations if needed to hold the fire on the west side of the road.

The Nash and nearby Separation Fires continue to burn actively in steep, deep and narrow country within the Three Sisters Wilderness. When the fires are not shaded by smoke they have the potential to move in any direction quickly. After evaluating values at risk, the decision has made to engage the fire with direct, indirect and aerial, full suppression tactics where feasible. Fire managers are making plans for when it moves out of the Wilderness. Movement to the southeast out of the Wilderness through vegetative timber stringers would be toward the Elk Lake area. The Nash Fire is on inciweb at

Evacuation Notifications for the NASH FIRE:
Level Two (Be Set): Elk Lake Resort, Elk Lake Campground (CG), Point CG, Little Fawn CG, Mallard Marsh CG, Sunset View Day Use Area, Beach Day Use Area, and Quinn Meadows Horse Camp.
Level One (Be Ready): Lava Lake Resort, Lava Lake CG, and Little Lava Lake CG.
For information on these evacuation notifications, you can call the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office at 541-693-6911.

Milli Fire – The southwest flank of the fire backed down into the Pole Creek burn. Heavy smoke has kept firefighters from visually monitoring this perimeter. Infra-red detection flights have been previously used to monitor the fire. The last two nights, the flights have been ordered but not been completed due to limited personnel and the numerous other fires requesting the same services.

Several engines and firefighters have been working along the west flank and in the Lava Camp area to mop-up hot spots and secure the infrastructure of the campground. As a result of the hard work, only one picnic table was burned. The fire has been backing down to Hwy 242 over the past several days. Last night it crossed the highway in several locations into the lava fields. Firefighters are mopping-up those areas.

Level 1 evacuation notices remain in place for all areas between Hwy 20 and Hwy 242 west of the City of Sisters, which includes the subdivision of Tollgate and Black Butte Ranch. Additionally, south of Sisters, the subdivisions of Crossroads, Edgington/Remunda, Wildwing, Peterson Burn Road Area, and along both sides of Three Creeks Lake Road (FS 16) south of the Brooks Scanlon Logging Rd (FS 4606) is also a Level 1.
The Milli Fire is on inciweb at
For more information on the Nash or Milli Fires, call 541-719-8135.

For information on air quality, visit or

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.



  1. "After evaluating values at risk, the decision has made to engage the fire with direct, indirect and aerial, full suppression tactics where feasible." This decision on Nash was made several days ago, but am I correct in thinking that for various reasons, at this point no direct action has been taken on the fire itself yet ? I know the original terrain was too ugly, but the terrain in the recreational areas between the last perimeter estimation ( which I know was a while ago ) up by Rock Mesa and the Cascade Lakes Highway looks less so. Thanks once again for your updates. I know the smoke from this thing continues to make matters difficult.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Bob. Yes, while a variety of suppression tactics are being considered for Nash, smoke made it difficult to go direct--which in this case would be water drops on hot spots. We now have some spots over the boundary of the Deschutes and Willamette National Forest and we are going to try to get aircraft up and cool them off. Later down the road, I know that if aircraft can fly one indirect tactic will be laying down retardant between the fire and Cascade Lakes Highway. We will be as aggressive as conditions and resources allow knowing the values at risk in this area.