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Local News

Wednesday Morning Wildfire Update

BEND, OR -- The Fly Creek Fire, near Lake Billy Chinook, is now 80% contained. It held overnight at 280 acres and evacuation levels were reduced Tuesday. 

The Tolo Mountain Fire, in the Crescent Ranger District, is now 100% contained at just 41 acres. 

And, Local wildland fire crews continue to respond to new starts reported after several days of lightning. Jean Nelson Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest says Central Oregon’s fire season is now in full swing, "It’s easy, I think, for people to get kind of lulled into that we hadn’t had a lot of fires in June and July. But, we’re really just kind of at the start of when we normally do have fires." She urges campers to follow current restrictions and only have campfires in designated areas, before you leave, make sure those fires are “dead out” - which means cold to the touch.

In the Umpqua National Forest, the Windigo Fire is burning 20 miles southwest of La Pine. Updated mapping shows it's 978 acres, instead of the previously reported 1,200. As of Wednesday morning, it's remains 0% contained. Nelson Dean says spot fires have been reported in the Deschutes National Forest, "And that’s primarily around the Pacific Crest Trail area, so people have been moved out of the Pacific Crest Trail. We do have a closure form Hwy 138 to Hwy 58, given the amount of fuels we have in that area and the fact that a fire could really get up and run there." The size of the Potter Fire, in the Willamette National Forest, was also reduced Tuesday. It's 97 acres, as of Wednesday morning. Because of their proximity to each other, Potter and Windigo are being managed together.
Ryan Sullivan is on the management team. During a Tuesday briefing on the Potter Fire [pictured], he said, "This fire’s in some pretty steep, nasty terrain and we have just limited resources, right now." Of the Windigo Fire, he said, "We started pushing dozer line around the south side of the fire. We also had a few hotshot crews - two hotshot crews up on the north side of the fire, starting to construct some line."

Governor Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act late Tuesday, in response to a new fire in Wasco County. As of Tuesday evening, the Miller Road Fire was estimated at 1,000 acres. It was first reported Tuesday morning; its cause is undetermined. By mid-day local agencies were calling for aerial support as it grew to 200 acres. "There are ground resources making progress on it. It is east of the small community of Pine Grove, Oregon; which is also east of the Mt. Hood National Forest boundary," Carol Connolly, with the Northwest Coordination Center, told KBND News, Tuesday. She added that it spread quickly in grass, brush and juniper, "So, it is on private land. It had a really strong wind on it and it was pushing the fire to the east. There were some evacuations in place, structures threatened, and Highway 216 is closed near Maupin." That highway reopened Wednesday morning, although drivers are asked to use caution. The Governor’s declaration clears the way for more resources available. An incident management team from the State Fire Marshal’s Office will take command Wednesday morning and five more task forces are expected to respond. 

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