Central Oregon – Firefighters made great progress on all wildfires in Central Oregon today including the two on the Sisters Ranger District near Lake Billy Chinook and new fire on the south end of the Deschutes National Forest called Hole in the Ground.
This morning, air tankers were available to support firefighting efforts on the Monty Fire which remained in its footprint of 7-8 acres. This fire area has numerous overhead hazards and firefighters will continue to mitigate that risk while working to achieve containment. Forecasted gusty winds challenged crews on the Bean Creek Fire that is now 175 acres but after multiple large air tankers dropped retardant, crews on the ground were assisted by helicopters dropping water to cool hot spots while dozers constructed preliminary containment lines around 60% of the fire area. Firefighters will work through the night on a burnout operation on the north end of the fire area to secure the perimeter. The Bean Creek Fire is now 10% contained. A Level 1 evacuation notice (Get Ready) issued by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Officer remains in place for houses on Montgomery Shores on the Metolius Arm. The public is asked to stay out of the area. Monty Campground on the Sisters Ranger District remains closed.
Two new starts approximately 1 ½ miles northeast of Hole in the Ground were quickly contained by firefighters but a third in the same area grew quickly, prompting Lake County to issue a Level 1 (Get Ready) notification for areas north of Highway 31 at Forest Road 2424. The Hole in the Ground Fire (Incident 778) is now estimated to be 310 acres and is 50% contained after multiple retardant drops by Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) and several Large Air Tankers (LATs) slowed the spread and allowed dozers to construct fire line and create a fire perimeter. The excellent progress allowed Lake County to rescind the Level 1 evacuation notice tonight and firefighters will remain on scene to monitor fire activity before reengaging in suppression efforts in the morning.
The most important thing members of the public can do to help firefighters right now is to do their part to prevent human-caused fires. With an increasing number of acres on fire in the Pacific Northwest, fire and aviation resources are stretched thin. The public is reminded that we remain in EXTREME fire danger and public use restrictions are in place on all federally managed public lands. Do your part to prevent one more spark.
For up-to-date information on Central Oregon fires, visit www.twitter.com/CentralORFire
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