By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
At least eight fires are burning around Central Oregon. Several of the fires grew significantly in size in the past 24 hours.
Evacuation notices have been posted around the Green Ridge Fire near Sisters.
As of noon, about 1,500 acres have been scored by the fires with most of the activity and concern focused on the Green Ridge Fire 12 miles northwest of Sisters.
The Green Ridge Fire is the largest at over 1,000 acres. It was mapped at 30 acres two days ago.
The fire’s rapid growth is an indication of how explosive fire conditions are.
“If we aren’t able to keep the fire in its current perimeter we do want those residents to be aware,” Lisa Clark, a fire information officer, said. “We run evacuations similar to starting a race, so it’s get ready, get set and go. Some of the areas in the immediate vicinity of the fire are looking at a Level 2 evacuation notice so that’s ‘Get Set.'”
A Level 2 evacuation notice is now in effect for residences north of Indian Ford Road, which is east of Green Ridge Road and west of Fly Lake Road. Residents in this area must be ready to leave at a moment’s notice due to significant danger in the area.
A Level 1 evacuation notice is in effect for residences south of Indian Ford Road from Highway 20 to Stevens Canyon Road; residences east of Fly Lake Road to Stevens Canyon Road; and private residences and campgrounds west of FS Road 14 in the Metolius Basin and Camp Sherman area.
“We have over 200 firefighters on the line in challenging terrain and weather conditions. They are doing long shifts out there,” Clark said. “This is our top priority. We are looking at protecting the city of Sisters as well as the private lands around the fire.”
The local fires are likely the source of haze people are seeing and wondering about.
The eight fires burning around the region include:
Green Ridge Fire northwest of Sisters; 1,018 acres
Frog Fire in the Maury Mountain east of Prineville; 250 acres
Lily Fire between Wickiup Reservoir and Waldo Lake; 30 acres. A closure around this fire has shut down the Pacific Crest Trail.
Jerry Mountain Fire near Dayville; 300 acres
Pee Wee Creek Fire south of John Day, 12 acres
On Warm Springs Tribal Lands:
P515 Fire; 772 acres
Lions Head Fire; 144 acres
Quartz Butte; 27 acres
Air quality is beginning to be impacted. Those who are sensitive to smoke are encouraged to keep windows closed at night, run air purifiers if available and to reduce their outdoor activity, if possible.
“Firefighters call this dirty August. It’s because everyone is getting their face, their hands and their bodies dirty fighting fires,” Kassidy Kern, Ochoco National Forest Public Affairs Officer, said. “This is really our fire season in Central Oregon. That also means a lot of smoke is going to be in the air.”