August 18, 2017

Battle continues on the Nena Springs fire

From Oregon State Fire Marshal,
Oregon State Fire Marshal / Submitted
NENA SPRINGS FIRE UPDATE AUG. 18 

Warm Springs OR -- At approximately 3:20pm Thursday, an ember from the Nena Springs Fire blew out of containment lines near Kishwalk. Driven by high winds, the fire began running in grass and brush. Two helicopters, handcrews and at least 10 engines responded in addition to 150 firefighters that were already assigned to the fire. 

Winds pushed the fire over Indian Head Canyon and through Charlie Canyon, then continued move a mile east past the Kah-Nee-Ta Resort. As was planned earlier in the week, in the event an evacuation notice was issued, visitors sheltered in place. Firefighters used Route 8 to burn from the road. This successfully removed grass from around the Resort and forced the fire to stay above and away from the area. While the Resort is still at a Level 3 evacuation, the immediate threat to it is gone. 

At approximately 10pm Thursday night, the fire jumped Hwy 3 at Fish Hatchery Grade. Firefighters' priority was to keep the fire from crossing the Warm Springs River and to prevent it from burning structures. As of midnight Thursday, these objectives had been met. 

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal Red Team, commanded by Ian Yocum, was mobilized late Thursday night. Two task forces of engines from Marion and Multnomah Counties began working with the existing organization around midnight. Yamhill and Washington Counties engines and personnel arrived this morning. These task forces bring with them a total of 79 firefighters, 19 engines and four water tenders to assist with protecting structures and building upon the work firefighters have already completed. 

The fire has grown an estimated 6,000 acres bringing the total acres to approximately 46,000. A flight will occur this morning to get a more accurate account of the fire's size. It is 40% contained. 

Evacuation Notices: The Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa received a Level 3 evacuation notice Thursday evening. As was planned this week, in the event of a wildfire, visitors will remain in place. Charley Canyon, Webster Flat Road, South Junction, Culpus Bridge, and Wolf Point Subdivision are now at a Level 3 Evacuation Notice. 

Evacuation Center: The Red Cross established an evacuation center at the Warm Springs Community Center for residents that have been evacuated. 

Road Closures: Hwy 3 to School Flats; Hwy 8 to Ka-Nee-Ta Village; Webster Flat Road, and Culpus Bridge are closed to all traffic.

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