Wildfire on reservation now 85 percent
Containment expected by Sept. 15
A month after lightning started a fire in timbered land north of Mount Jefferson, the wildfire is nearing containment.
Located about 22 miles west of Warm Springs and four miles north of Mount Jefferson in steep terrain, the Waterfalls 2 Fire had burned about 12,265 acres, and was 85 percent contained as of Tuesday.
On Monday, command of the fire was transferred back to a Warm Springs Type III team, with Jabbar Davis as incident commander. Total personnel on the fire dropped from 608 down to 314.
The fire, which has a 29.2-mile perimeter, is expected to be fully contained by Sept. 15, but not controlled until winter weather.
"Those root masses will probably still be smoldering until they get some signicant rain or snow," said Rawlin Richardson, information officer for Warm Springs Fire Management.
This week, he said, "They're continuing mop-up operations; they need to be 300 feet from the perimeter of the fire. They're going in there and putting out all the hotspots."
Monday night, he said, a plane flew over the area with infrared, and detected hotspots within the 300 foot boundary.
Firefighters are continuing to do water bucket drops on the interior of fire, past the 300 foot buffer. "That's where the majority of the smoke is," he said. "There's still some intense burning in the afternoons in areas like Shitike Creek."
The B-100 Road crossing under the Marion Flats powerline south and west to the reservation's southern and western boundaries is still closed. For more information on road closures, call fire information at 541-553-8190.