Wildfire NE of Madras now 60 percent contained

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness fire now nearly 90 acres

MADRAS, Ore. - The Emerson Fire northeast of Madras has been more accurately mapped at 10,529 acres and is now 60 percent contained, officials said Friday.

Firefighters were continuing mop-up efforts Friday and the Type 3 incident management team in charge of the incident will transfer command back to the Ochoco National Forest Saturday for final clean-up and monitoring.

Elsewhere, firefighters near Sisters responded Thursday to a hold-over fire from Wednesday’s lightning storm. The fire near Trout Creek Butte was contained at 1/10 of an acre.

Meanwhile, the Whitewater Fire on the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area has grown slightly, to 89 acres, and containment remains at 15 percent, officials said Friday. Crews were working to strengthen existing fire lines, with aid from helicopter water drops. Several trails are closed, as well as Forest Service Road 2243 off Highway 22, just past the Cheat Creek Trailhead.

A Type 3 incident management team will hand off to a Type 2 team Monday morning and a fire camp will be established at the Hoodoo Ski Area. Willamette National Forest officials said that’s “due to potential growth of the fire driven by warmer forecasted temperatures.”

 As a reminder, officials said, “we are in EXTREME fire danger in Central Oregon. Fire officials want to remind the public that hot and dry weather conditions are forecasted to continue as we move into our peak fire season.

“Fire restrictions are now in place on public lands, limiting campfires to only designated campgrounds. The public is asked to avoid driving or parking over dry grass and properly extinguish cigarette butts before disposing of them. As a reminder, fireworks and exploding targets are always illegal on public lands.  “

Stay up-to-date with fire activity by following the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center’s  Twitter account @CentralORFire.

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