Fire danger extreme as firefighters work new fires this holiday weekend

Aerial view of the Rattlesnake Fire. Courtesy: InciWeb
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Central Oregon remains under extreme fire danger this July 4th weekend as firefighters work to stop new fire starts Saturday morning.

Crews are working a fire near Skyliners Road on the Deschutes National Forest west of Bend, and another east of Madras.

The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center reports seven new fires were picked up Friday.

The largest, Incident 494, a five acre fire off Highway 20 near the Oregon Badlands Wilderness Area east of Bend.

The Lewis Rock Fire burning near Mitchell is holding at 70 acres, with 29% containment and a dozer line around the perimeter, according to the Wheeler Count Sheriff’s Office.

As of Saturday morning the City of Mitchell remains at a Level 1 (Be Ready) Evacuation Notice, and the Dollarhide Road area was lowered to Level 1 (Be Ready).

Aerial view of the Rattlesnake Fire burning along the Deschutes River. Courtesy: InciWeb

 

Here is the Saturday morning update from the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center:

Firefighters remained busy yesterday picking up 7 new fires, the largest of which was incident 494, a 5 acre fire off of Highway 20 near the Oregon Badlands. Crews are also responding to two new starts this morning, one east of Madras and a fire near Skyliner Road on the Deschutes National Forest.

Engines are still mopping up incident 494 on Prineville District BLM managed lands this morning. The wind driven fire grew quickly and suppression efforts on the ground were assisted by Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) dropping several loads of retardant to slow the spread. Two engines remain assigned to the fire today.

  The largest fire in the Central Oregon remains the Wrentham Market Fire currently estimated at 7,222 acres east of Dufur in Wasco County. It is now 78% contained. For more information on this fire, visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7589/

The Rattlesnake Fire is estimated at 5,479 acres with 30% containment burning on Prineville District BLM managed lands in the area of South Junction campground and the Warm Springs Reservation. For more information on this fire, visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7592/

The Ryegrass Fire is holding at 1,102 acres east of the Maury Mountains and south of the Paulina Highway on Prineville District BLM lands. All containment lines held yesterday and crews will continue mopping up today to work towards containment.

There Dry Creek Fire (incident 449) burning south of the historic Rager Ranger Station on the Prineville District BLM remains 53 acres this morning. Fire lines held yesterday and through the night and the 20 person hand crew and 10 smokejumpers assigned to the incident will continue to mopping up today.

The Sulphur Spring Fire (incident 447) by Maupin Butte east of the Maury Mountains and south of Paulina Highway remains 81 acres and burning on Prineville District BLM lands. Several smokejumpers and a 10 person hand crew will continue to hold and improve containment lines and will use a helicopter to cool hot spots from interior burning.

The Black Mountain Fire (incident 475) is in the area of Deep Creek on the Ochoco National Forest, 6-7 miles east of Big Summit Prairie. 3 hotshot crews will continue to secure preliminary fire lines to contain the 150 acre blaze today. A Type 1 helicopter will be available to assist in cooling hot spots.

The Bologna Fire (incident 165 dispatched out of John Day) approximately 7.5 miles east of Spray, is 140 acres, 70% lined and 10% contained. It is burning on approximately 25 acres of Prineville District BLM managed land with the remainder of the fire under the protection of the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). Multiple crews and three helicopters have been attacking the blaze burning in grass and brush. Three structures are threatened by this fire.

With a return to hot and dry conditions over the holiday weekend, fire officials anticipate more fire starts to pop up in the next two weeks. The public is reminded that we remain in EXTREME fire danger and public use restrictions are in place on all federally managed public lands.

For up-to-date information on Central Oregon fires, visit www.centraloregonfire.org or www.twitter.com/CentralORFire

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