|Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center|
Redmond, Ore. – Firefighters had another busy day today working on lightning starts across Central Oregon that started as weather systems passed through last night and the night before. This afternoon’s warm, windy weather led to increased fire growth on many fires and put more smoke in the sky above Central Oregon communities.
Most notable was a spot fire produced by the Whychus fire, about 8 miles northeast of Sisters, Ore. The Whychus fire had been completely lined by dozer the day before at 34 acres. Today’s gusty winds carried embers across the containment lines and created a fire that ran around two and a half miles to the east. Jefferson and Deschutes County authorities issued first level one then level two evacuation notices this afternoon for the residents of Southwest Lower Bridge Road. Two large air tankers, a helicopter, and multiple engines and dozers are engaged in suppression on the spot fire this evening.
A lightning start 8 miles west of Sisters, and about one and half miles west of Black Crater Lake, got active this afternoon and grew to an estimated 70 acres by late in the day. The fire is moving around in dead and down fuels within the 2006 Black Crater Lake fire scar. The fire activity prompted the Deschutes National Forest to issue temporary closures on adjacent trails to provide for public safety. A Type 3 incident management team will begin working on the fire .
Firefighting efforts continued today on a new fire 8 miles west of Grass Valley on BLM land near the Deschutes River. Aerial resources delivered multiple retardant drops to this fire now estimated at 500 acres about one mile west of Macks Canyon campground. A new start on BLM land about 6 miles northwest of Clarno is estimated at 2,000 acres, burning in grass and brushy fuels. Multiple resources were responding this afternoon.
Aerial resources also dropped retardant on the Belknap fire burning within Mill Creek Wilderness on the Ochoco National Forest. That fire was resized at 30 acres. And several engines worked to suppress a 19-acre fire about 17 miles east of Prineville today, just south of Highway 26. The Pine Stub fire, burning about 4 miles northeast of Post, was resized at 148 acres. Multiple resources continued strengthening line around the fire this afternoon.
Central Oregon is not expected to receive the same lightning activity as it has for the last two nights. The National Weather Service is reporting that the same weather systems that delivered lightning across Central Oregon the last two nights are now moving further into eastern and northeastern Oregon. Continued warm and windy conditions mean fire behavior will likely remain active on many fires in this area.
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