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Saturday, August 20, 2016

8/20/16 Central Oregon Fire News Release

Firefighters Now Working Multiple Fires in Central Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            August 20, 2016
Contact: COIDC Information (541) 416-6811                                             

Central Ore. – Firefighters had a late night response to a new fire that started southeast of Pine Mountain. East Butte Lookout reported the new start at 8:30 p.m. at 1-acre and by this morning, the fire had reached 300 acres. Crews worked overnight with a dozer, successfully getting dozer line around 80 percent of the fire. Firefighters will work with helicopters and Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) to secure the remaining side of the Pine Mountain Fire (Incident #518).  Additional firefighters will work to hold and improve the dozer line put in last night.

An unknown number of people were evacuated from the Pine Mountain Observatory and nearby campground last night; the fire is approximately 2 miles from the Observatory. The cause of this fire is under investigation.

Firefighters will continue mopping up the Sheridan Fire (200 acres) burning near Sunriver, Oregon, as well as Incident #516 (1 acre plus several small spot fires) on Tumalo Mountain across from Mount Bachelor. The cause of these fires remains under investigation.

Fire officials have determined that the main roads (FS 40, 45 and 4220) through the Sheridan Fire will remain closed at this time due to hazardous trees and continued heavy fire traffic. The roads will remain closed until the snags are removed and the road is safe for travel. The Deschutes River remains open between Harper’s Bridge and the Sunriver Resort Marina; however, the closure could be reinstated if helicopters need to use the spot for dipping. The Level 1 Evacuation Notice remains in effect for homes in the Fall River Estates subdivision and the Fall River Fish Hatchery.

Continued hot and dry weather will challenge firefighters working on existing fires and increase the potential for a new start to spread rapidly. Fire officials are asking everyone to use caution when recreating out in the woods and rangelands – make sure campfires are out when someone isn’t there to watch them, dispose of cigarettes properly, and avoid parking over vegetation.

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