Central Oregon – A lightning storm passed through Central Oregon today and ignited multiple new fires, with several clustered on the Sisters Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest. The largest fire at this point is the Fly Creek Fire near Balancing Rock along the Metolius arm of Lake Billy Chinook, north of the Three Rivers subdivision. The fire is estimated at 30 acres and is 0% contained.
The fast-moving blaze grew quickly in grass, brush and juniper. Firefighters responded along with three heavy air tankers that were able to drop several loads of retardant on the fire before dark. Engines and crews remain on the fire tonight, along with a dozer, and will work to construct containment lines through the evening hours. Due to rapid fire growth on Fly Creek, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office issued a Level 3 “GO NOW” fire evacuation notice for the Perry South and Monty Campgrounds and a Level 2 “GET SET” fire evacuation notice was issued for the Three Rivers area. For information on https://www.facebook.com/JeffersonCountyORSheriff
There were 7 other smoke reports in the same area as Fly Creek and firefighters are working several of them tonight. In addition to the fires near Lake Billy Chinook, crews and engines responded to two fires on the Ochoco National Forest and one on the Crescent District of the Deschutes National Forest—all were held to 1/10 of an acre. In total, 16 smokes were reported this afternoon and evening across Central Oregon and firefighters are currently responding to 7 and will engage the remaining fires tomorrow.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for abundant lightning across most of Central Oregon tomorrow. Isolated to scattered thunderstorms are forecast along with the potential for gusty outflow winds that may challenge suppression efforts.
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