The following is information is taken directly from Central Oregon Fire Information and the Willamette National Forest about the Miller Road, Fly Creek, Windigo, Potter, Cedar Creek and Green Butte fires as of noon on Friday, Aug. 5.
Fire activity was relatively quiet yesterday over central Oregon. Firefighters made great progress increasing containment on existing wildfires.
Only one new fire was reported yesterday evening. Incident 558 is burning in grass and juniper on Prineville District BLM lands roughly 15 miles northwest of the town of Paulina. Air Attack estimated the fire was 2 acres in size last night. Three engines arrived on scene around 1:30 a.m. and stayed out on the fire overnight. Three engines and one Type 3 helicopter are assigned to the fire this morning. More information will be available once resources are able to assess the fire in daylight.
Miller Road Fire
Estimated Size: 11,186
Cautious optimism was the tone on day two of the Miller Road Fire. Light winds and moderate temperatures on Wednesday allowed Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) task forces and Oregon Department of Forestry crews to start mop up operations.
The fire is still estimated at 11,186 acres and is now 25 percent contained. Today’s weather will remain moderate, giving crews another great opportunity ahead of next week’s forecasted triple-digit heat.
“The big push is to make as much progress as we can ahead of the upcoming extreme weather,” said Scott Magers, OSFM Blue Team Incident Commander. “Our crews have worked around the clock to get us in a good position to protect lives and homes in Juniper Flat.”
Friday also brings additional resources into Wasco County. A Type-2 interagency incident management team, Northwest Interagency Management Team (IMT) 8, joined OSFM and is in unified command. The two teams will work together to provide support to the firefighters.
Crews will continue today to increase mop up operations, building towards the goal of 200 feet from the fire’s perimeter.
“We’re thankful for the support of the Oregon Department of Forestry,” Magers said. “Their collaboration and teamwork helped us follow through on our mission of protecting life and property.”
Evacuations update from Wasco County Sheriff:
All properties currently under any type of evacuation advisory on ANY fire incident have been DOWNGRADED one level at this time. So what does this mean?
Anyone previously at a level 3 (GO NOW) evacuation order should consider themselves under a level 2 (GET SET) and may return to their property at this time.
For the Dodge/Miller Fire this would be residents in the Juniper Flat / Victor Rd / Walters Rd and Hwy 197 area.
Level 2 (GET SET) can relax a bit more at a level 1 (GET READY) and should just remain diligent for any changes. This includes Tygh Valley, Oak Springs, and Maupin.
If you were previously under a level 1 (get ready) you can consider evacuation advisories lifted for your area at this time. This affects residents of The Dalles in the Columbia View Heights subdivision, the Oregon Vets Home, Viewpoint Trailer Park, and the Celilo Inn.
Fly Creek Fire
The 274-acre Fly Creek Fire is 95% contained. This fire is located near Balancing Rock along the Metolius arm of Lake Billy Chinook on the Deschutes National Forest. A Type 4 Incident Management Team will assume command of the fire this morning. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office lifted the Level 1 evacuation notice for the Three Rivers area and the Level 3 evacuation notice for the Perry South and Monty Campgrounds. The campgrounds will reopen for camping and recreation use today. This will be the final update on this fire unless there are significant changes.
Firefighters secured 100% containment yesterday on the 1.6-acre Juniper Creek Fire which is located roughly 10 air-miles south of the Fly Creek Fire.
Slightly cooler temperatures are expected again today with breezy conditions. Despite the slightly cooler temperatures, conditions will generally be warm and dry with low relative humidity across the area. High temperatures return again Sunday through Monday. The potential for hold-over fires still exists, especially as temperatures increase over the weekend.
Windigo and Potter Fires
Moderate temperatures kept fire growth to a minimum on the Windigo and Potter Fires yesterday. Crews achieved 5% containment on the Windigo Fire and made progress connecting roads around the Potter Fire. Air resources were used heavily with two Type 1 Helicpoters dropping water and retardant on hot spots. The Shelter Fire is now 5 acres, fully lined, and 75% contained. Resources continued to work on a lightning strike fire, now named Big Swamp Fire, a few miles west of Opal Lake. It’s 30% contained.
The Windigo Fire continues to push east towards the Pacific Crest Trail. Today, dozers and hand crews will be working from Forest Road 60 on the northeast corner of the fire and move south around the butte to prevent eastern progression. Staff on both sides of the fire will continue to lay hose, strengthen retardant lines, and monitor the perimeter.
The Potter Fire was active yesterday with slow, backing behavior—sending debris downslope. Crews were able to lay additional water hoses and sprinklers around the perimeter. Today, all divisions will be focusing on improving line and clearing roads. Air resources for both fires will include four Type 1 helicopters and one Type 3, with two additional Type 1’s in route.
Today, weather will be similar to yesterday’s conditions. High temperatures may reach 80-85 degrees. West winds will be between 5-9 mph with gusts of up to 15 mph on ridge tops and valleys. Fire spotting distances may be up to ¼ – ½ mile. For information about air quality visit https://fire.airnow.gov/.
Acreage: Approx. 1,072 acres
Location: 20 miles southwest of La Pine, OR
Acreage: Approx. 149 acres
Location: 8 miles northeast of Toketee area
Area closures and restrictions include (a larger closure area is pending announcement):
- Pacific Crest Trail from OR Highway 138 (PCT mile 1848) to OR Highway 58 (PCT mile 1908)
- Forest Service Road (FSR) 60 from the junction with FSR 6020 on the Deschutes National Forest to FSR 2612 on the Umpqua National Forest
- Forest Service Road (FSR) 2610 from Lemolo Dam to Calapooya Mountain
- Kelsey Horse Camp on the Umpqua National Forest
- White Fish Horse Camp on the Deschutes
- Toketee Air Strip
- Temporary Flight Restriction over the two fires
Cedar Creek Fire
Green Butte Fire
The Green Butte Fire, located on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District on the Deschutes National Forest approximately 13 miles southeast of La Pine and approximately two miles northeast of Spring Butte, remains at 23 acres and is now 25% contained.
Yesterday firefighters took advantage of the hose lay around the fire to mop-up to a depth of 40 feet around the perimeter. A local Type 3 Incident Management Team took command of the fire at 8:00 p.m. yesterday evening. Today firefighters will increase mop-up depth and continue to improve fireline where needed.
Resources assigned to the Green Butte Fire include the Prineville Hotshots, three hand crews, two engines, two water tenders, and one dozer.
As we move into a warm weekend, fire officials would like to remind the public to exercise caution as the potential for fire growth remains high. Check for fire restrictions before making plans to have a campfire. For more information on fire restrictions, visit: https://www.centraloregonfire.org/. If you do decide to enjoy a campfire in an approved fire ring at a designated campground, remember to drown, stir and feel before walking away. It should be cool enough to touch with your hand. Check your trailer chains to ensure they aren’t dragging; this can cause sparks. Avoid driving over or parking on dry vegetation. Fewer human-caused wildfires means that firefighters can focus on the natural-caused wildfires that can’t be prevented.
Central Oregon may experience smoke impacts from a few different active fires on neighboring forests and surrounding states. Smoke often settles into low-lying areas and river corridors overnight. The public is advised to ensure all windows and doors are securely closed in the evening and early morning hours to limit smoke exposure. For air quality information, visit: https://fire.airnow.gov/ or https://www.airnow.gov/. For more information on how to limit your smoke exposure, visit: https://www.centraloregonfire.org/wildfire-smoke-your-health/.
We will not be putting out an evening Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch update since fire activity has decreased. We will only do a morning update moving forward unless there is significant fire activity to report. For current wildland fire information, the public can visit centraloregonfire.org or follow fire information on Twitter @CentralORfire.