SISTERS, OR -- Several new fires were reported across Central Oregon, Tuesday. Two discovered south of Lava Butte triggered the evacuation and closure of the Lava River Cave and lava Lands Visitors Center, south of Bend, for the day. Both fires were kept small.
About a mile north of the Ogden Group Camp in the Newberry national Volcanic Monument, the McKay Fire (pictured) created the greatest threat; more than 100 fire personnel are working the blaze east of Highway 97 between La Pine and Sunriver. As of Wednesday morning, it was fully lined and estimated at 1,364 acres in size.
Local crews are also assisting on a small fire discovered about 10 miles south of La Pine, near Highway 97.
A wildfire forced the closure of Highway 20 at Santiam Pass for several hours, Tuesday night. One lane reopened early Wednesday morning, with a pilot car directing traffic. The fire began on the south side of the highway, but it crossed the road and – as of Tuesday night – had burned about five acres near Lost Lake. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Fire activity within the Horse Creek Complex
, northwest of Cascade Lakes Highway, prompted Level One pre-evacuation notices for Elk Lake Resort and surrounding campgrounds, Tuesday night, as well. The five fires that make up that complex now total 3,168 acres.
And west of Sisters, the Milli Fire
grew to 21,703 acres, as of Wednesday morning. It's 44% contained.
Sixteen large fires or fire complexes are burning across the state and forestry officials expect to see growth on many of them due to current and forecasted weather conditions, which will result in persistent smoke in the region
for several days. Click HERE
to access the Oregon DEQ's latest air quality conditions.