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Milli Fire

Unit Information

Deschutes National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Oregon
Bend, OR 97701

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Update - September 4, 2017 AM

Milli Fire Wildfire
Announcements – 9/4/2017

Special Announcements: The evacuation level for the Crossroads subdivision, Edgington Road, Remuda Road, Peterson Burn Road, Wildwing and Three Creeks Road residences has been reduced by the Deschutes Sheriff’s Office to Level 1. Tollgate, Black Butte and the area between OR 242 and Highway 20, west of Cold Springs Cutoff remain at Level 1.

A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 5th, at 5:00 pm at Sisters High School. A panel of fire managers and local agency leaders will be present to answer questions.

Campfires are prohibited on all public and private lands. Violators will be cited.

General Information:

Winds out of the southwest carried smoke from several fires into the Sisters area creating poor air quality yet moderating fire behavior. As a result, the poor air quality and visibility has restricted the use of helicopters to assist firefighters. The wind is predicted to shift this afternoon and come from the east/northeast which could potentially reduce the amount of smoke in the area.

Air Quality: Air quality reported from Air Now http://www.airnow.gov/ is in the “Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups” (UHSG) (orange) range in Sisters. The “UHSG” range is defined as the air quality is unhealthy for people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged activity or heavy exertion. Information is also available at: oregonsmoke.blogspot.com

Incident Management: Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 8, with Doug Johnson, Incident Commander, is managing and supporting the firefighters of the Milli Fire. The incident command post (ICP) is located at the Sisters Rodeo Grounds, east of Sisters, Oregon.

Fire Update: Smoke again inhibited the ability of helicopters to fly and assist firefighters. The heavy helicopter assigned to the Milli Fire was requested to assist at the new start Eagle Creek Fire near the Columbia Gorge. The helicopter was unable to respond due to poor visibility from smoke.

The east, southeast, and south flanks of the fire are in patrol status with firefighters mopping up any detected heat to further secure containment lines. Secondary containment lines outside the perimeter are in the repair process. Crews, dozers, excavators and wood chippers are working to return unused containment and dozer lines to a more natural state. Unneeded equipment is being back hauled to the incident command post and to assist on the Nash Fire.

The southwest flank of the fire backed down into the Pole Creek burn. Heavy smoke has kept firefighters from visually monitoring this perimeter. Infra-red detection flights have been previously used to monitor the fire. The last two nights, the flights have been ordered but not been completed due to limited personnel and the numerous other fires requesting the same services.

Several engines and firefighters have been working along the west flank and in the Lava Camp area to mop-up hot spots and secure the infrastructure of the campground. As a result of the hard work, only one picnic table was burned. The fire has been backing down to Hwy 242 over the past several days. Last night it crossed the highway in several locations into the lava fields. Firefighters are mopping-up those areas.

Clean-up is underway along Hwy 242 removing logs, rocks, and debris however the road will remain closed as additional work will be required to remove hazards. It will be closed until Oregon Department of Transportation has assessed the condition of the road and can ensure it is safe for travel.

Weather: Temperatures are forecasted for 84-92 degrees (dependent on the smoke and elevation), relative humidity 11-14%, with east and northeast surface winds 10 mph with gusts up to 20 mph. There is a 30-40% chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms mid-week.

A Red Flag Warning (which means critical fire weather conditions exist in the area) remains in effect over Central Oregon for hot, dry, and unstable conditions through Tuesday. The combination of the Red Flag Warning and the consecutive lack of overnight relative humidity recovery could cause any ignition source on dry fuels to start a wildfire. Forest visitors are reminded to stay vigilant and “know before you go”.

Resources: Total personnel assigned to the Milli Fire: 318 personnel, comprised of 1-type 2 initial attack crew, 3-type 2 crews, 3-camp crews, 9-engines, 1-masticator, 4-skidgens, 1-heavy helicopter, 1- light helicopter, 3-dozers, 9-water tenders and 149 overhead. Available resources remain limited and are being prioritized within the region and nationally. Resources continue to be shared amongst nearby fires. Additional critical resources have been reordered.

Evacuation Levels: For additional information on evacuation levels, pleasecontact the Deschutes County Sheriff’s office at 541-693-6911. Current evacuation levels:

Level 1 – Crossroads subdivision, Edgington Road, Remuda Road, Peterson Burn Road, Wildwing and Three Creeks Road residences. Tollgate subdivision, all areas between OR 242 and US 20, west of Cold Springs Cutoff (Forest Road 1018) which includes Black Butte Ranch.

Highway Closures: OR Hwy 242 is closed east of the Cascade Crest to the junction of Forest Road 15. For more information visitwww.tripcheck.com

Forest Closures- For further information go to: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/deschutes/alerts-notices

The Sisters Chamber of Commerce would like to invite and remind the public that businesses are open and ready to host visitors over the holiday weekend. Remember, one less spark is one less potential fire.

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