Pole Creek Fire Update - September 19, 2012 -8 AM
Incident: Pole Creek Wildfire
The Pole Creek Fire is located approximately five miles southwest of Sisters, OR
Firefighters endured smoke again through the night in efforts to complete burnouts on the NW corner of the Pole Creek Fire. Crews worked tirelessly to keep the fire within established containment lines on the S, E and N perimeters. Firefighters wasted little time yesterday in utilizing a combination of air tankers, helicopters, engines and crews to keep fire west of Road 16. Smoke columns were seen late in the day after developing when the main body of the fire grew together with burnouts on the SE corner of the fire in efforts to secure the southern perimeter.
Crews will focus today to hold lines on the SE and NW and to mopup and patrol on the S, E and N perimeters. Smoke columns are expected to again be visible along the southwest corner of the fire as fuels continue burning out west into the rockier slopes of the Cascades. Helibase has been moved to the Mt. Bachelor area to avoid the morning smoke inversions.
Fire officials remain committed to keeping the fire west of Road 16 (Three Creek Lakes Rd) north of Tam McArthur Rim & Triangle Hill and south of Millican Crater Trail. Firefighters' efforts to fully suppress the fire, in all areas are aided by a broad array of tools provided by the host agency, Deschutes National Forest. The Deschutes' has authorized the use of mechanized and motorized equipment, like chain saws and water pumps and air support on both wilderness and non-wilderness lands.
A high pressure weather system is expected to fully settle on the east side of the Cascade crest today increasing daytime temperatures, lowering relative humidity and re-establishing a westerly flow of wind. Fire officials are expecting the changed weather to again test containment lines.
The overnight smoke inversion is expected to lift by late morning with air fully mixing by afternoon and improving air conditions. ALL major routes remain open to tourist destinations like Sisters and other central Oregon communities. For information on smoke tips, visit the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/burning/wildfires/index.htm., or call (503) 229-6397.
Residents in the Crossroads and Edgington/Remuda areas remain under a Level 2, pre-evacuation alert (west of the 16 Road and South of Highway 20 in the vicinity of Sisters). Public safety agencies will keep the public updated about when to leave and which routes to take. In addition, agencies will notify residents when the alert is lifted. In the event that there is a need for evacuation, citizens in affected areas will receive a call from 911 Dispatch with a recorded message with specific evacuation information. To receive these messages on cell phones, citizens are encouraged to visit http://www.deschutes.org/citizenalerts and register their numbers with the Citizen Alert program. At this time, there are no towns, subdivisions or structures under evacuation.
For firefighter and public safety, the current closure area includes the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) between Trail #3531 and the PCT Trailhead on Highway 242. PCT hikers have a reroute option using the Scott Trail traveling west to Highway 242. The closure still includes Forest Roads 15 (Pole Ck RD) & 16 (Three Creeks Rd) south to FS 4601 Road. Maps and descriptions are available at Forest Service offices and at http://inciweb.org/incident/3244/.
A community fire information update is planned for Thursday, September 20 at 7:30 pm at the Sisters Elementary School, on 611 East Cascades Avenue. The briefing will provide an in-depth update on the Pole Creek fire to those attending.
22,000 acres (from infrared flight)
Unknown - Under Investigation
Total - 1,233
Type 1 Crews - 4 Dozers - 11 Water Tenders - 16 Helicopters - 8
Type 2 Crews - 29 Engines - 42 Camp Crews - 2 Overhead - 385
Complete the burnout on the NW corner of the fire. Continue to hold along the N, NE, E, SE and S perimeters of the fire. Mopup where fire edges have cooled. Begin rehab of suppression impacts.
Fire Weather Forecast:
Temps, 73-83 degrees; Relative humidity, 15-20%; winds, 4-8 mph from the NW, p.m. gusts to 15
Deschutes County Sheriff, Deschutes County SAR, City of Sisters, Sisters/Camp Sherman Fire District, Black Butte Ranch RFPD, Cloverdale FD, Oregon Department of Forestry, American Red Cross, Oregon Department of Transportation