A week after thunderstorms ignited numerous wildfires around the area, Marks Creek residents east of Prineville got news they they can go home after four days -- but some Warm Springs Indian Reservation residents were told to be ready to leave at a moment's notice.
Another sign of good news later in the day, on the Waterman Complex: The Wheeler County sheriff, in conjunction with fire managers, lowered the evacuation level to Level 2 in the West Branch area at 6 pm. Call the Wheeler County Sheriff information line at 1-844-300-2238 for more information.
Details below in the two notices distributed Sunday morning; we'll have more on each fire in their individual updates:
WATERMAN COMPLEX FIRE
By Emergency Manager, Michael Ryan, 541-447-6398
Effective 0900hrs July 20, 2014, Crook County Emergency Management in conjunction with the Waterman Complex Fire Management Team in Mitchell, OR is reducing the Level 3 Evacuation to a Level 2 Advisory. The Level 2 advisory will allow residents in the Marks Creek area to resume normal travel in and out of the area.
The ODOT Highway closure on Hwy 26E at the Mt Bachelor Academy is being moved east to the Bandit Springs Rest Area. The Highway is still closed to the general public, only fire traffic will be allowed past the closure point.
MANDATORY EVACUATION HAS BEEN REDUCE TO AN EVACUATION ADVISORY FOR THIS AREA
RESIDENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRE CONDITIONS ARE STILL AT AN EXTREME LEVEL AND THE WATERMAN COMPLEX FIRE IS STILL AN ACTIVE FIRE. WIND AND WEATHER CONDITIONS COULD CHANGE AFFECTING THE FIRE IN THE MARKS CREEK AREA. HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE FIRE WILL SEVERELY LIMIT OUR ABILITY TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY SERVICE PROTECTION. DANGEROUS CONDITIONS EXIST THAT MAY THREATEN YOUR RESIDENCE OR BUSINESS.
RESIDENTS ARE REMINDED THAT YOU MUST PREPARE TO LEAVE AT A MOMENTS NOTICE
THIS MAY BE THE ONLY NOTICE THAT YOU RECEIVE
YOU WILL BE KEPT ADVISED AS CONDITIONS CHANGE. AREA RADIO AND TV STATIONS HAVE BEEN ASKED TO BROADCAST PERIODIC UPDATES.
FOR FIRE INFORMATION call 541-787-4321
Logging Unit Fires
Level 2 Notification
Sunday, July 20, 2014 – 8:30 a.m. PDT
Due to continued active fire behavior on the southeast flank of the Camas Prairie Fire, the Pacific Northwest Team 2 has recommended to Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs that a Level 2 Notification is necessary. A level 2 notification alerts tribal members to be prepared to leave on a moment's notice (the Tribal Police Department will provide all notifications); a level 3 notification alerts tribal members to leave immediately.
Warm Springs Tribal Police will immediately begin to advise tribal members in the Sidwalter Flat area, as defined:
East of Sidwalter Lookout, Sidwalter Buttes and Old Mill camp to Hwy 26; the B180 on the north and the B130 on the South; east to Hwy 26, including several residences to the east of the Highway and two residences south on Hwy 26 in the Mill Creek Viewpoint area.