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Fire Updates, huge change in size of Sunnyside Turnoff Fire

News releases below:



Sunnyside Turnoff Fire Daily Update

July 24, 2013 (8 a.m.)

The Sunnyside Turnoff Fire is now 45,491 acres according to an infrared (IR) flight flown early this morning.  The fire is located on lands of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs east of U.S. Highway 26 near Warm Springs, Oregon. The large change in acreage from yesterday is primarily due to an omission of the areas burned in the first several days of the fire.  Actual growth yesterday was about 5,800 acres, primarily along the N-NW perimeter. 

 Containment of the fire is now 40%.  The fire moved further into the Mutton Mountains in the last 24 hours but remains south of the S-330 road and east of the S-110 road along the western perimeter.  The remainder of the fire stayed northeast of Upper Dry Creek road, and north and west of the Deschutes River.

An initial evacuation notice (Level 1) was given last night by tribal police to residents in the Schoolie Flats area adjacent to the northwest flank of the fire.  This alert means residents should be aware of fire risk in their area and begin to prepare for evacuation in the event that conditions worsen.


Night operations made good progress preparing control lines and conducting burnout operations to contain the fire along the northern perimeter.


Today's suppression activities will continue to focus on improving and/or establishing defendable containment lines along the NW to NE flanks.  Hand crews, dozers, and engines will utilize existing roads where possible and build additional hand and dozer lines as needed.  Burnout may also be used to improve containment in these areas.  Type 1, 2 and 3 helicopters will continue  to support suppression activities. Remaining perimeters will be in patrol and monitor status. Contingencies continue to be developed in the event the fire crosses east of the Deschutes River.

Fire growth is again anticipated to continue primarily to the north into the Mutton Mountains due to hot temperatures, low relative humidities, and afternoon N-NW winds up to 15 miles per hour.  Overnight humidity recovery was low and continues to affect continued growth.

There are currently 565 resources assigned to suppressing the fire, on both night and day shifts.

For most updated boating and camping information, visit www.boaterpass.com or contact the Prineville Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 541-416-6700.


FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

For Immediate Release:  July 24, 2013  10:30 a.m.

  Website: www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire



Lower Deschutes River and Stagecoach Fire Update


Central Oregon – As of 6 p.m. yesterday evening the Lower Deschutes River re-opened to rafting and camping. The Sunnyside Turnoff Fire is burning on lands of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is not contained. Rafters should be aware that if conditions change and the fire moves toward the river again, the BLM could implement another emergency closure. Anyone floating through should be aware of helicopters using the river to dip buckets and should stay away from these operations. Rafters should also use caution when hiking or camping in an area that has recently burned as there may still be hotspots, root-holes, rolling rocks or other hazards.


Firefighters in northern Klamath County continue to make good progress on the Stagecoach Fire burning about 8 miles northeast of Gilchrist, Oregon. The fire acreage remains at 330 acres with last night’s shift working to improve the line around the perimeter of the fire. The fire is still 10 percent contained due to some active fire behavior along the fireline and occasional torching within the fire perimeter yesterday.


A Red Flag Warning is in effect until 8 p.m. tonight for high temperatures and low relative humidity. In addition, a lightning storm may reach Central Oregon today. Firefighters will remain on alert for wind and other effects to the fire as this system passes through the area. 


More than 160 firefighters continue to suppress the fire today, mopping up hotspots and holding and improving the containment line. Resources include two hotshot crews, two type 2 hand crews, 17 engines, two dozers, five water tenders and 22 miscellaneous overhead personnel. Members of the public who do not live in the area are asked to stay away to avoid impacting fire traffic and suppression efforts.


The Prineville BLM, Walker Range Fire Protection Association and the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office will be holding a public meeting this evening to discuss the current fire situation and to offer the public an opportunity to learn more about the fire suppression process for the Stagecoach Fire. The meeting will be from 6 – 7 p.m. at the Oregon Outback Fire Department at 13099 Sun Forest Drive (off of Hwy 31).


The fire was determined to be human-caused. Two individuals were illegally residing on BLM-administered lands and left a cooking fire unattended. The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office arrested the male suspect, Kelly Parker, on charges of first degree arson. Any specific inquiries should be directed to the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office. Forest Service, BLM and Sheriff Officials want to remind people that residency on public lands is illegal. In addition, with conditions getting hotter and drier, everyone should use extreme caution while recreating, make sure fires are completely extinguished when not being watched and to follow all fire restrictions.  

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