Local News

Pole Creek Fire Continues to Challenge Fire Crews

Tuesday fire bosses reported that the Pole Creek Fire was still estimated at 43 hundred acres, but winds started affecting the fire fighting effort Tuesday morning.  Janice Madden with the Central Oregon Dispatch Center says they plan to do an infrared mapping Tuesday night.
People who live near the wildfire continue to be on standby- officially on "pre-evacuation" notice and they are asked to remain aware of the situation and be prepared to leave if necessary. 
COIDC spokeswoman Janice Madden spoke with KBND radio news Tuesday morning and says the next few days could be crucial to the fire fighting effort.  It's currently 0 percent contained.
"our situation out there is that we are extremely dry - here on the eastside of the cascades we haven't recieved any significant precipitation and we don't have any in the forecast for at least the next 10 days- and that's our biggest concern - the word is dry."
As of Tuesday morning about 300 people were working the fire and more help was on the way.
"we've got over 300 people on the fire and crews en-route and other resources  on order- we expect them to arrive in the next day or so - we have a number of crews -  we have helicopters - dozers - engines- water tenders....and have established the fire camp, the incident command post is at the sisters rodeo grounds."
Madden says that smoke will continue to be an issue - especially in the Sisters area.
bite "and we also want folks to realize there is going to be a lot of smoke that's going to remain that area- and at night smoke is going to settle in the valleys and in the drainages- and where its going to end up is going to depend on the wind direction and the speed of that wind.
The area is popular for hiking, camping, running and other outdoor activities.  She says people need to be aware that the fire is nearby and affecting access to some areas.  But there are signs and staff to let people know where the dangerous areas are located. 
"we still have the closures in effect- it covers the pacific crest trail along  the county line on the west side- and it's forest service roads 15, 16, and several of the spur roads that lead to the fire area - trailheads are closed and the three creeks campground area is also closed- and we will have "closed road signs" and barricades and people staffing the area to advise the public of that closure."
Fire officials say the cause is still under investigation.  While lightning storms sparked several wildfires in the Northwest over the weekend, they have ruled out lightning as the cause of the Pole Creek Fire.  It was reported at 10:45 Sunday morning.  Monday night about 300 people turned out for a community fire information meeting at Sisters Elementary School.

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