According to a Tuesday evening report from Central Oregon Fire Management, the increase in smoke in the Crook County area is coming from fires burning throughout the state.
Crews responded to two escaped human-caused fires between Monday and Tuesday evening, both of which were contained at less than a quarter acre. The weather forecast for Wednesday afternoon includes a red flag warning for the southern half of the Deschutes National Forest and the Ochoco National Forest, which includes abundant lightning and gusty winds in excess of 20 mph. Gusty winds are forecast to continue through Thursday. Crews will be available to respond to any new fires that occur.
Air quality conditions are going to continue to be poor for most of central Oregon through Wednesday, with smoke coming from fires burning across Oregon and from as far away as northern California. For information from air quality monitoring stations, visit http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/
Milli Fire – Smoke caused significant visibility issues today with fire suppression efforts. Aircraft were grounded as a result of the smoky conditions. Heavy smoke moderates fire behavior, so minimum spread is expected. Direct suppression occurred on the northeast and southeast side of the fire near FS 16 where firefighters widened dozer and hand lines. Crews on the northwest side of the fire near OR 242 continued fuel reduction work and may conduct a burnout this evening if conditions allow.
Level 3 - The subdivisions of Crossroads, Edgington/Remunda, Wildwing, Peterson Burn Road Area, and along both sides of Three Creeks Lake Road (Forest Road 16) about one mile south of Sisters from the junction of the Brooks Scanlon logging road.
Level 1- The subdivision of Tollgate, all areas between OR 242 and U.S. Highway 20 and west of Cold Springs Cutoff (FS1018), which includes Black Butte Ranch.
Every effort is being made to return residents to their homes but this cannot be done until the safety of the public can be assured. For more information on the Milli Fire, call the information line at 541-719-8135 or visit inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5517
North Pole Fire – Located Northeast of Shaniko, the fire has crossed a containment line and five engines have responded.
Belknap Fire - Located in the Ochoco National Forest, the fire is 100 percent contained at 125 acres. There is still a temporary closure in the Mill Creek Wilderness of certain trails, including the Twin Pillars Trail #832; Wildcat Trail #833; and Belknap Trail #833A.
Whychus Fire – Located about eight miles northeast of Sisters, the fire is 100 percent contained and 2,030 acres.
For more information, follow us at http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter at @CentralORFire. For the Central Oregon Fire Information hotline, please call 541-316-7711.