Pole Creek fire grew to 25,553 acres on Thursday. The fire was 45 percent contained, and the cause remains under investigation.
Active fire behavior on the southwest side produced a smoke column early in the day yesterday. Burning and subsequent smoke column came from the north side late in the afternoon. A one-acre spot fire outside the line on the north side was fully contained by noon Thursday. Firefighters were able to get a line around a 5 to 10 acre area that was burning north of the Scott Pass trail.
Fire managers and cooperators held a fire information update meeting in Sisters on Thursday evening that was well attended. Issues such as smoke mitigation were discussed and alternatives were presented.
Firefighters are transitioning into mop-up and patrol status on the southeast side of the fire. Resources are concentrating on keeping fire spread on the north side in check. There is a RED FLAG WARNING in effect from this evening through Saturday evening for the fire area due to potential for thunderstorms producing abundant lightning over the area later today and tonight. Resources are staging in Prineville and Bend to support initial attack, should lightning fires develop.
Firefighters today will focus on continuing mop-up along fire containment lines
ALL major routes remain open to tourist destinations like Sisters and other central Oregon communities. For information on smoke tips, visit the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/burning/wildfires/index.htm, or call 503-229-6397.
Residents in the Crossroads and Edgington/Remuda areas remain under a Level 2, pre-evacuation alert (west of the 16 Road and South of Highway 20 in the vicinity of Sisters). Public safety agencies will keep the public updated about when to leave and which routes to take. In addition, agencies will notify residents when the alert is lifted. In the event that there is a need for evacuation, citizens in affected areas will receive a call from 911 Dispatch with a recorded message with specific evacuation information. To receive these messages on cell phones, citizens are encouraged to visit http://www.deschutes.org/citizenalerts and register their numbers with the Citizen Alert program. At this time, there are no towns, subdivisions or structures under evacuation.
For firefighter and public safety, the current closure area includes the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) between Trail #3531 and the PCT Trailhead on Highway 242. PCT hikers have a reroute option using the Scott Trail traveling west to Highway 242. The closure still includes Forest Roads 15 (Pole Ck RD) & 16 (Three Creeks Rd) south to FS 4601 Road. Maps and descriptions are available at Forest Service offices and at http://inciweb.org/incident/3244/.