SISTERS, Ore. - (Update: Delayed burnout operation begins; area closure slightly reduced)
Deschutes National Forest officials advised that burnout work was delayed Friday but got underway in the evening on the 13,500-acre Milli Fire and that an area closure will be reduced as of Saturday morning,
"When complete, the burnout will effectively build a line of defense between the northern end of the fire and the structures and land to the north and east," the agency said. "These burnout operations and retardant drops are being conducted to build a fuel break or 'catcher's mitt,' intended to stop the fire should it spread toward the north and east. Burning operations could continue for the next few evenings."
Warmer and drier weather is predicted to increase fire activity this weekend. Fire activity on the west side of the fire burning in the wilderness is expected to increase and smoke columns will once again be seen from the area, officials advised
Here's the Friday evening update:
| Location of Origin: 9 miles west of Sisters, OR |
Start date: August 11, 2017, 2:42 pm
Size: Approximately 13,485 acres
Percent Contained: 32%
Resources Assigned: 673 personnel
| Planned aerial and burnout activities were delayed today due to poor visibility from heavy smoke, but were commencing as of the release of this update (around 6:30 p.m.. Operations will continue as conditions allow. Plans involve air support from planes dropping fire retardant to prepare a line of defense for future burnout operations in an area north of OR 242. The retardant will coat the fuel bed making it less receptive to possible ignition. This is a precautionary measure to help minimize fire spread, coupled with the mechanical clearing conducted over the past few days. Crews were also delayed in burning this afternoon along Forest Road 1018 south of OR 242. If conditions allow for a burnout tonight residents of Black Butte Ranch could see distant flames as well as smoke during these operations. These burnout activities and retardant drops are being conducted to build a fuel break or "catcher's mitt" intended to stop the fire should it spread toward the north and east. Burning operations could continue for the next few evenings. |
Warmer and drier weather is predicted to increase fire activity this weekend. Fire activity on the west side of the fire burning in the wilderness is expected to increase and smoke columns will once again be seen from the area.
Work continues with clearing fuels along strategic roadways as well as mop-up along the fire's edge. Mop-up continues on the east edge of the fire, firefighters are concentrating on the southeast corner, which is difficult and unsafe terrain for the firefighters to access. Forest Road 15 south of the fire's edge continues to be prepped to be used as a containment line.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, in consultation with its partners on the Milli Fire, are continually evaluating the need for possible changes to evacuation notices. At this time there are still communities under a Level 1 (Be Ready) and Level 2 (Be Set) evacuation level. Evacuation questions should be directed to the Deschutes County Sheriff's office non-emergency number: 541-693-6911
Current evacuation levels:
Level 2 – Crossroads subdivision, Edgington Road, Remuda Road, Peterson Burn Road, Wildwing and Three Creeks Road residences returned to Level 2 (Be Set) Evacuation Notice on 8/23/17, allowing residents to return to their homes.
Level 1 – The subdivision of Tollgate, all areas between OR 242 and HWY 20 and west of Cold Springs Cutoff (FS1018), which includes Black Butte Ranch.
OR242 east of Cascade Crest to the junction of Forest Road 15. For further information see www.tripcheck.com
Forest Closures: For further information go to: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/deschutes/alerts-notices
Smoke monitoring information is available at: oregonsmoke.blogspot.com
Saturday at 8 a.m. the fire closure area for the Milli Fire will be slightly reduced. Significant changes to the closure include the opening of Forest Service Road 16, the campgrounds at Three Creeks Lake, Tam MacArthur Rim and the Petersen Ridge trail system, east of Forest Road 16.
What remains closed includes:
· Park Meadow Trail #4075
· Metolius Windigo Trail #99 from the Graham Corral Horse Camp to the trail junction with Park Meadow Trail #4075
· Green Lakes Trail #17 is closed from Park Meadow Trail #4075 to Lava Camp Lake at Hwy 242
· Black Crater Trail #4058
· Millican Crater Trail #4066 and Trailhead
· Scott Pass Trail #4068 and Trailhead
· North Matthieu Lake Trail #4062
· Trout Creek Tie Trail #4067
· Chush Falls Trail #4080
· Pole Creek Trail #4072
· Whychus Overlook Trail
· Whychus Creek Trail
· Whispering Pines Campground
· Sisters Cow Camp
· Cold Springs Campground
· Lava Camp Lake Campground
The following trails on the Deschutes National Forest are closed in addition to the area closure:
· Camp Lake Trail #4074
· Demaris Lake Trail #4074.1
With the start of archery season, hunters and the general public are encouraged to KNOW BEFORE YOU GO by contacting the Sisters Ranger District office at 541-549-7700. Having a hunting tag for the area does not allow an individual to enter an area under the Fire Closure.
For information on the Milli Fire, please visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/551