From State Fire Marshall’s Office:
An Oregon State Fire Marshal Office Incident Management Team arrived Friday with over 100 firefighters to assist with managing the Nena Springs (Warm Springs) Wildfire. This organization will be assisting with structural protection and building upon the quality work firefighters have already established.
Structure Protection resources are assigned to the communities of Simnasho, Mutton Mountain and Indian Head Canyon where structures are concentrated. They are developing structure protection plans, re-enforcing containment lines and patrolling neighborhoods to ensure fire does not threaten them again.
Yesterday, several structures were destroyed in the Simnasho area, however, none of them were primary homes; the hard work of firefighters kept the structural damage as low as possible. No new structures were lost overnight since the additional resources arrived. One unoccupied residence was burned the second day when the fire grew over 20,000 acres. Several historic unoccupied outbuildings, considered 50 years or older, and other outbuildings were also destroyed in the first three days.
Very dry grass, brush and slash, combined with steep terrain on the northern flank of the fire, are contributing to extreme fire behavior and fire growth. Where safe to do so, firefighters are engaging the fire, now established in the Nena Creek drainage.
As additional resources arrive, they will be given assignments. Their focus is to limit the fire’s spread onto private lands, prevent damage to structures and infrastructure and to reduce damage to natural and cultural resources. Firefighters are working to keep the fire east of Bear Springs Cutoff, north of Hwy. 26 and Warm Springs rural zone, west of the Deschutes River and the ridge above Eagle Creek, and south of U.S. 216 and Walters Road.
To accomplish this, air tankers and helicopters have been dropping retardant and water to slow the fire’s growth. This is giving firefighters the opportunity to safely construct dozer and hand lines, and use roads for control lines where available. Other firefighters have been conducting burnout operations to remove grass and brush ahead of the fire’s front. This key tactic assists firefighters with protecting structures and developing containment areas.
Firefighters have contained a small segment of the northwest flank of the fire. They will re-enforce this line today.
The Kah-Nee-Ta Resort, the Charlie Canyon Subdivision and Wolf Point are not directly affected by the fire at this time, but are under a Level 1 evacuation notice. This lets them know a fire is in the area and they should be aware of current and possible future conditions so that they can be ready to leave if necessary. The Fish Hatchery Grade area is under a Level 2 evacuation notice. They should be set to evacuate when notified. The Schoolie Flat, Simnasho, and S-300 subdivisions are under a Level 3 Evacuation Notice and have been requested to leave the area immediately.
A Red Cross shelter is established at the Warm Springs Community Center to support people displaced by the fire.
The S-300 Road is closed. Highway 3 is also closed, except for local residents.
Heavy fire traffic is on the roads. The public is asked to please drive cautiously when in the area. If possible, please avoid areas where evacuation notices are issued.