CAMP SHERMAN, Ore. - Several campgrounds and the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery have reopened to the public as crews continue to make solid progress on the 2-week-old, nearly 5,700-acre Bridge 99 Complex of fires 18 miles northwest of Sisters, officials said Monday.
Fire crews continue to depart from the lines of the fire, leaving 289 firefighters as of Monday morning on the fires that are now 88 percent contained.
Here's Monday morning's update:
The Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery is now open to the public. Allen Springs, Pioneer Ford, Lower Bridge and Candle Creek campgrounds are also open to the public as well as the 14 Road north of Camp Sherman along the Metolius River.
Other road and area closures remain in effect (see details below). Visitors to the area are cautioned to drive slowly and carefully as emergency response vehicles, heavy equipment and firefighters remain in the area.
A local management team under the supervision of Willie Branson has assumed command of the Bridge 99 Complex as of 6:00 am this morning. Patrol of the fire perimeter and repair of firefighting suppression efforts, which includes covering containment lines and providing measures to reduce erosion, continues on the Bridge 99 Fire. Progress is being made to create contingency fire lines by removing vegetation along roads in the event the Bear Butte 2 Fire expands southward out of the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms is forecast for today and through the week, which may result in new fire starts from lightning strikes. Gusty, erratic winds associated with thunderstorms coupled with a continued warming and drying trend could potentially result in very active fire behavior.
Open fires, including charcoal fires, are prohibited on National Forest and BLM lands, except in designated campgrounds (for a list and more information visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/centraloregon/home/?cid=fsbdev3_035880). These restrictions DO NOT apply to Wilderness areas on the Deschutes National Forest.
The Following Forest Service roads, trails and campgrounds are open:
Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery is now open. Allen Springs, Pioneer Ford, Lower Bridge, Candle Creek, Monty and Perry South Campgrounds are all open to the public. The Pacific Crest Trail south of Mt Jefferson is open. The 14 Road along the Metolius River is open. The 1120 Road is open. (Monty and Perry South Campgrounds are not accessible via the 11 Road).
The following Forest Service roads, trails, campgrounds and lands remain closed:
Forest Road 12, from its intersection with Forest Roads 1270/1298 to Bridge 99, Forest Road 11, from its intersection with Forest Road 1120, Forest Road 1140, from its intersection with Forest Roads 1150/1180 to the intersection with Forest Road 1152, Forest Road 1154, from its intersection with Forest Road 1150 to the intersection with Forest Road 1140, and Forest Road 1420400. The Jefferson Lake Trail (#4001), Sugar Pine Ridge Trail (#4002), Shirley Lake Trail (#4003.1), and the Cabot Lake Trail (#4003) are closed within the Mt Jefferson Wilderness. An area closure has been designated on a map that is available on the Inciweb website listed below.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department evacuation orders are as follows:
All private lands along the Metolius River from Allen Springs Campground to Lake Billy Chinook (including the Metolius Arm) are under a Level I Evacuation Order. The Cove Palisades State Parks remains open.
The above closures and evacuation levels will continually be assessed to determine if they remain appropriate to protect public health and safety.
The Bridge 99 Complex consists of two fires (the Bridge 99 Fire and the Bear Butte 2 Fire). The Bridge 99 Fire is burning 18 miles northwest of the city of Sisters on Green Ridge, next to the Metolius River. The southern portion of the Bear Butte 2 Fire is burning in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness on the Deschutes National Forest. The northern portion of the Bear Butte 2 Fire is on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs lands and is being managed by the Fire Team working on the Logging Unit Complex.
For detailed information on the fire including maps, area, road and trail closure information, along with photos, please visit: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3963/