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Desolation Fire

Unit Information

Ochoco National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Prineville, OR 97754

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Desolation Fire Update - September 15, 2017

Desolation Fire Wildfire
News – 9/15/2017

This will be the last update for the weekend unless conditions change

Central Oregon
– The Desolation Fire experienced moderate growth yesterday evening, all within Mill Creek Wilderness and within planned containment lines, for an updated total acreage of 1,916 acres. The fire is still 0 percent contained.

Crews completed line construction and burnout operations along Highway 26 yesterday, between mileposts 45 and 50 and up to Forest Road 27, protecting private property east of the fire. Crook County lowered the evacuation notice for about 30 private homes in the Mark’s Creek area to a Level 1 (Get Ready) as of this morning. Unless the fire moves toward the east, there are no more burnouts planned along Highway 26.

Firefighters continue prepping the northern containment line along Forest Road 27 with feller bunchers and other heavy equipment to form a "catcher’s mitt" with containment lines along the highway, should the fire grow toward the northeast. Crews also removed fuels around Whistler Campground and Bingham Springs Trailhead and around private property near the highway.

The Desolation Fire is still mainly a ground fire, burning through dead and down timber and shrubs within the 2000 Hash Rock Fire scar. The most active fire growth yesterday was a flank that burned south down Desolation Canyon within Mill Creek Wilderness. Resources will be looking at options today to prep roadways to the south and southwest to use for containment should the fire make any significant progress in that direction. No burnouts are planned, but would occur if needed.

A total of 206 firefighters are currently assigned to the Desolation Fire, and available aviation resources include air attack, air tankers, super scoopers, and a Type 2 helicopter.

Heavy smoke settled over the fire area and Highway 26 overnight, but should clear somewhat today with no burnout operations planned. Motorists are still urged to use caution when travelling over Ochoco Divide to watch out for smoke, emergency traffic, or bystanders who may be watching suppression activities. Cooler temperatures and higher humidity predicted for the weekend should help moderate fire behavior, but late afternoon winds may continue to create periods of fire growth.

A temporary closure order remains in effect for all of Mill Creek Wilderness and Forest Service land north of the wilderness up to and including Forest Roads 27, 2730 and 2745.

For more information, call (541) 316-7711 or follow us online at or on Twitter at @CentralORFire.