August 15, 2017

Fire leads to closure in Three Sisters Wilderness

From Central Oregon Fire Information:

COIDC MORNING Update, August 15
Redmond, OR – No new smoke reports have come into the Central Oregon Dispatch this morning, although with clear skies and continued drying conditions, crews are ready to respond to any new reports that come in. 

Milli Fire – Located in the Three Sisters Wilderness, the Milli Fire is estimated at 150 acres and 2% contained. There are currently 141 personnel on the fire including three type 2 crews, 5 IA crews, 3 dozers, 2 masticators, and a variety of overhead resources.   The Milli Fire is currently 8 miles west of Sisters and about one and a half miles southwest of Black Crater Lake. Moderate fire activity was observed yesterday and is expected again today with continued fire spread to the east and northeast.  Yesterday, crews worked to establish containment line in the wilderness using minimum impact suppression tactics and outside the wilderness, equipment was utilized to improve Forest Service roads and create new containment lines in anticipation of fire growth outside of the wilderness to the east. Today, direct and indirect suppression tactics will be utilized, while continuing Forest Service road improvement and fire line construction outside of the wilderness boundary. The fire is partially burning in an old fire scar with significant stands of dead timber caused by the Black Crater Lake Fire.

The Willamette and Deschutes National Forests have implemented a closure order for a large portion of the Three Sisters Wilderness beginning today. The Willamette National Forest will close 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.  

Whychus Fire – Located about either 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 120 acres and 0% contained. Aerial resources, smokejumpers, and hand crews will continue working on direct suppression of this fire today. Crews are taking extra precaution from entering the area due to significant hazard trees from previous fires. 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 as fire crews work to suppress this fire.  The following trails are now closed to the public for one month, beginning August 14th, from today or until rescinded: Twin Pillars Trail #832; Wildcat Trail #833; and Belknap Trail #833A.

For more information, follow us at http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter at @CentralORFire

For Central Oregon Fire Information Fire hotline, please call 541-316-7711.

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