August 17, 2017

Eclipse visitors, residents asked to be cautious of fire danger

From Central Oregon Fire Management:

The Milli Fire has obscured much of the view of the Three Sisters.
COIDC MORNING Update, August 17

Redmond, OR – As visitation into the central Oregon area is increasing daily, we are asking visitors and residents to use extra caution, follow fire bans, and be prepared during this time leading up to the eclipse. August is always fire season in central Oregon, but with such a large influx of visitors, the potential for human-caused wildfires is increased. Additionally, there are several closures of public lands due to fires in the area as well as the increased visitation of the eclipse, so please “Know Before You Go”, be patient, and stay safe.

Milli Fire – Located in the Three Sisters Wilderness, partially burning in the 2006 Black Crater Fire scar. The fire is currently six miles west of Sisters, with the southeastern edge of the fire being the most active. The fire is currently estimated at 3,500 acres and 0% contained. There are 206 personnel assigned to the fire including three 5-person crews, six IA crews, seven helicopters, four dozers, four masticators, and a variety of overhead and support resources. 

Level One and Level Two evacuation notifications are in place for the following areas:
Level One (Ready) – Pre-evacuation notice for all areas between Hwy 242 and Hwy 20 from the Cold Springs Campground to the city of Sisters, which include the Tollgate Subdivision. This does NOT include the city of Sisters or Black Butte Ranch.

Level Two (Set) – Be “set” to evacuate. All areas south of Hwy 242 (McKenzie Hwy) and west of Pole Creek Ditch (1-1.5 miles west of and parallel to FS Road 15/Three Creeks Rd.). This area includes the Crossroads Subdivision and homes off of Edgington Rd and Remuda Rd. 

Structure protection assessments are ongoing in the areas under these evacuation notices. 

There is a public meeting in Sisters tonight at 6:00 P.M. to inform residents and visitors on the current status of the Milli Fire and strategies for managing the fire. Fire managers and emergency personnel will also be available to provide information on the evacuation notifications and answer any questions. The public meeting will be held at the Sisters High School (NEW LOCATION) at 1700 McKinney Butte Rd, Sisters, OR 97759

The Willamette and Deschutes National Forests have implemented a closure order for a large portion of the Three Sisters Wilderness. The Willamette National Forest has closed all trails south of Highway 242 into the Three Sisters Wilderness on the Willamette National Forest with the exception of Proxy Falls, which remains open. Also closed is the Obsidian Trailhead and Obsidian Limited Entry Area.

The area closure also includes Deschutes National Forest managed lands within the Three Sisters Wilderness that are threatened by fire activity. The northern closure area border includes trails south of Highway 242 and west of Forest Road 1018 and east of the Three Sisters Wilderness Boundary on the Willamette National Forest down to approximately Scott’s Pass Trail, which is also included in the closure. In addition, the closure area contains trails north of Cascade Lakes Highway, west of the South Sisters Climber Trail and includes all of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from Elk Lake north to the PCT Trailhead near Lava Camp Lake Campground. For up-to-date information on closures on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and trail reroute options, visit https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/trail-conditions-and-closures/. 

While the closure includes all trails east of the PCT from Elk Lake to the South Sisters Climber Trail, the South Sisters Climber Trail and Elk Lake Trail remain open. Popular areas like Wickiup Plains and Sisters Mirror Lake are closed.

• Recreationists should be aware of these additional trail closures: Black Crater Trail #4058, Millican Crater Trail #4066, Scott Pass Trail #4068, North Matthieu Lake Trail #4062, Trout Creek Tie Trail #4067, Millican Crater Trailhead, Scott Pass Trailhead, A portion of the Green Lakes Trail #17 is closed from Pole Creek Trail #4072 to Scott Pass Trail #4068, Moraine Lake Trail from South Sister Climber Trail to Leconte Crater Trail, Leconte Crater Trail, Devils Lake Trail, Mirror Lakes Trail, Elk-Devils Trail, and Horse Lake Trail.

• Green Lakes Trail #17 from the Cascade Lakes Highway to the Pole Creek Trail #4072 is OPEN. 

There is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in place over the fire. Information on the TFR can be found at http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_7_1668.html. This TFR is in place for all aircraft, including unmanned aerial systems (UAS). 

Whychus Fire – Located about eight miles northeast of Sisters, is currently 2030 acres and 90% contained. 

Belknap Fire – Located in the Mill Creek Wilderness on the Ochoco National Forest, the Belknap Fire is estimated at 125 acres and 30% contained. There are 113 personnel assigned to the fire including three crews, three engines, and three dozers. Crews will continue working to reinforce the retardant line around the fire by constructing hand line using extra precautions due to hazard trees from the 2000 Hash Rock Fire. 

A trail closure has been put in place by the Ochoco National Forest for trails within the Mill Creek Wilderness. All hiking trails within Mill Creek Wilderness are temporarily closed to the public including Twin Pillars Trail #832; Wildcat Trail #833; and Belknap Trail #833A. 

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire. Information on the TFR can be found at http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_7_9749.html. This TFR is in place for all aircraft, including unmanned aerial systems (UAS). 

For more information, follow us at http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter at @CentralORFire
For Central Oregon Fire Information hotline, please call 541-316-7711. 

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