Firefighters continue to battle the Pole Creek Fire located six miles southwest of Sisters. Approximately 300 firefighters were engaged in managing the Pole Creek fire today. Winds have increased fire acreage to 4,300 acres. Monday crews were able to construct and establish containment lines on portions of the fire. Overnight, firefighters patrolled the fire perimeter for spot fires outside firelines.
Most of the heavy burning in the fire is occurring in the wilderness with lighter underburning in lower portions of the fire.
The Sheriff’s Department has created an information line for the public, 541-550-4886. A Type 2 team is taking over management of the fire at 8pm on Monday. When a fire information line and information center is established for the fire, the public and media will be informed.
Full suppression efforts are being implemented on this incident using direct and indirect methods while maintaining firefighter and public safety as the top priority.
For firefighter and public safety, an area closure is in place around the vicinity of the fire. The closure includes Forest Service roads 15 and 16 several spur roads leading into the fire area, trailheads and the Three Creeks Campground area. Closed roads will be signed, barricaded, or staffed to advise the public of the closure.
Closure maps and area descriptions are available at Deschutes National Forest offices as well as http://inciweb.org/incident/3244/
In the event that there is a need for an evacuation, citizens who use a cell phone or a VoIP phone who live in the affected area should go to www.deschutes.org/citizenalerts to register those devices to receive emergency notifications.
Smoke will remain in the area settling at night into valleys and drainages. Density will depend on wind directions and speeds. Fire managers have acknowledged that growth potential for the fire is extreme due to weather forecasts and fuels. Winds are a concern with forecasts for winds up to 25 mph. This is a fuel driven fire with heavy down and dead material. Safety for the public and firefighters is the number one priority because of the high exposure to snags and bug kill timber. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
A successful burnout operation was conducted on the south side Sunday evening in an attempt to secure a portion of the fire and give firefighters a safe anchor point from which to strengthen their efforts. Currently there are various resources responding to the Pole Creek fire. A Type II team will assume command by 8pm this evening. The fire camp will be set up at the Sisters Rodeo grounds today.
Safety for the public and firefighters is the number one priority because of the high exposure to snags and bug kill timber. An emergency area closure is in place south of Hwy 242 (McKenzie pass) following the Deschutes County line west then south near three creek lake and east to Forest Service (FS) road 4606. The Pacific Crest trail shall remain open. The area closure information is attached.
For more information on the status of evacuations please call 541-550-4886 for the most up to date information.
For more information and updates on the Pole Creek fire, visit the InciWeb website at: http://inciweb.org/indicent/3244/.