By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
The Green Ridge Fire northeast of Sisters doubled in size the past 24 hours to nearly 2,000 acres and evacuation notices are posted for people near the fire’s perimeter.
Central Oregon Daily visited Camp Sherman today, to talk to those living closest to the fire lines.
A Level 1 pre-evacuation order is in effect in bucolic Camp Sherman on the banks of the Metolius River.
The fire is just two miles east of here, the closest to any developed area but the prevailing winds are blowing it away for the most part.
Everyone we spoke with in Camp Sherman is aware of the order. Most haven’t smelled any smoke yet.
“Life’s been pretty hectic the last couple of days. Lots of people are asking questions and we answer questions all day long,” said Roger White, Camp Sherman Store owner. “The Forest Service has been wonderful, having numerous people stop by and give us updates, that’s been great. We’ve had the opportunity after work to get to a vista point and watch the helicopters and the bombers hit the fire.”
Helicopters are scooping water from the river a few miles downstream and dropping it on the fire, which has steadily crept down the west side of Green Ridge toward the 500 homes and hundreds of campsites in the Camp Sherman area.
“We are loaded up and ready to go at a moment’s notice,” said Julie Nickolaus, the manager at Camp Sherman Motel & RV Park. “We have to get out our residents as well so our job is a lot harder because I’m trying to keep track of everybody instead of just me and my family.”
Nickolaus told all her guests to leave and is instructing her full-time residents to get ready to leave.
But, just across the river, Dave and Barb Isom of Redmon say they’ll stay at their campsite another night, if not forced to evacuate.
“The fire is mostly on the other side of the hill, two to three miles away. It was a pretty peaceful evening after the planes and helicopters stopped flying,” Dave said.
“Lots of jets. Lots of jets coming over and then the prop planes were coming over about every 15 minutes,” Barb added.
Only about half of the campsites around the Metolius River occupied, despite the fact they have been reserved for months.