BEND, OR -- Scattered rainfall is helping local wildland fire crews and pushing smoke from the area. But, Jean Nelson Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest, says that doesn’t mean the region’s largest fires are suddenly out. "The significant moisture that we are getting in some of the higher elevation areas we do expect to moderate fire activity and allow us to get a handle on some of these fires. However, if we see what is currently forecast, we see another warming trend following this; we may continue to have fire activity into October," Nelson Dean tells KBND News.
"In terms of air quality, this rain is fantastic in clearing it out. And, there’s no question we’re getting enough rain we’re going to be able to get these fires suppressed and keep them probably within where they are now. It would depend on every individual fire and how much moisture each fire gets, but we’re looking here in Central Oregon, particularly with the Nash Fire and the Milli Fire, to have this rain really benefit us." The Milli Fire (mapped above), near Sisters, is now just over 24,000 acres and 60% contained. Whychus Overlook and parking lot reopened Monday, but other area trails and campsites remain closed, as well as Highway 242. "We continue to patrol and rehab the Milli Fire. It is continuing to burn, with low intensity in some areas. We expect that to carry on until we get actual snow up in some of those areas."
The 6,700-acre Nash Fire
also continues to burn west of Sisters. "Given that we expect significant rain on that fire, we’re looking at improvements in terms of fire activity; it hasn’t really grown in several days."
In the Ochoco National Forest, the Desolation Fire
also continues to burn. It's grown to about 4,500 acres and is 20% contained. Nelson Dean says Crook County residents may see more smoke from that blaze, as crews conduct burnout operations as weather allows.