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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

9/12/2017 Desolation Fire Update

The Ochoco National Forest issued a temporary closure order today for a hiking trail and campground in Mill Creek Wilderness to promote public safety while fire crews fight the Desolation fire.
The order temporarily prohibits public use of Wildcat Trail #833 and Whistler Campground. See attached map. The Forest will reopen the trail and campground to the public as soon as it’s deemed safe to do so.
The Desolation fire is currently estimated at 300 acres in size, burning in patches of dead and live timber in the East Fork of Mill Creek drainage and running into parts of the 2000 Hash Rock fire. The fire was first reported around noon on Saturday, originating near the intersection of the creek with Desolation Canyon. Since then, the fire has grown northeast along the drainage toward Whistler Point, paralleling Highway 26 which is about 2 miles southeast of the fire. 
As the fire became active yesterday afternoon, heavy air tankers dropped 7 loads of retardant around it, painting a box around the fire to confine and contain it. Tankers continued making retardant drops today along the active flanks of the fires, and aircraft fortified those lines with water drops to reduce fire growth.
Crews began grading Forest roads today in preparation of moving in feller bunchers and other logging equipment to create and improve fuel breaks on Forest Service Road 27, which follows the northern border of Mill Creek Wilderness.
For updates on the Desolation fire, call Patrick Lair at (541) 233-7770 or follow the Ochoco National Forest on Facebook ( and Twitter (

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