This article was published on: 09/7/10 12:00 AM
Oregon wildfire update
Crews band to fight fire north of Madras
By Scott Hammers / The Bulletin
Published: August 27. 2010 4:00AM PST
One wildfire broke out in Central Oregon Thursday, while progress on the White Lightning Fire near Maupin will allow for the reopening of the Deschutes River this morning.
The Juniper Lane Fire was reported at 3:45 p.m. Thursday about 10 miles north of Madras, where wildland crews were assisting the Jefferson County Fire District to protect the town of Gateway. Limited information was available Thursday night, but Jefferson County dispatchers said fire managers were beginning to release crews around 8:30 p.m.
At the White Lightning Fire 15 miles north of Warm Springs, officials closed a 32-mile stretch of river between Trout Creek Recreation Area and Harpham Flat Recreation Area on Aug. 21, but plan to reopen the river to rafting and other recreational activity early this morning.
Peter Frenzen from the White Lightning management team said strong winds tested fire lines Friday, but the lines held and the interagency management team expects to turn over the fire to Warm Springs fire management Saturday morning.
West of Sisters, the Scott Mountain Fire continued to burn Thursday, and the closure of the McKenzie Highway west of the Dee Wright Observatory remained in effect. Heavy smoke that had drifted into Bend from the fire on Wednesday evening was lighter on Thursday, but the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued smoke advisories Thursday, warning that monitoring stations in Madras and at Big Lake in the Cascades had recorded air quality ratings in the “moderate” range.
Dispatchers said crews tying together ridges and trails around the Scott Mountain Fire to serve as fire lines, and were working to protect a Boy Scout camp south of the fire. Good weather is anticipated on the fire over the next few days.
To the south, crews were fighting the estimated 200-acre Phoenix Wildland Fire inside Crater Lake National Park. No structures were threatened Thursday, and crews are managing the fire to reduce hazardous fuels accumulation.
Scott Hammers can be reached at 541-383-0387 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published Daily in Bend Oregon by Western Communications, Inc. © 2010