CONDON, OR -- Firefighters from Central Oregon are helping crews in South Gilliam County battle the Devils Butte Fire (pictured), estimated at 3,500 acres, as of Monday evening. A Central Oregon Fire Management Type 3 Team will assume command Tuesday morning.
The fire is near Highway 206, which closed Monday between Condon and Wasco. Aerial crews are dropping water and retardant, while hand crews dig fire lines on the ground. The Devils Butte Fire was first reported Monday morning about 20 miles northwest of Condon.
10 a.m. UPDATE: The Gilliam County Sheriff's Office has reopened Highway 206.
Southeast of Mt. Hood, crews are hitting the Boulder Fire with a lot of resources because it has the potential to grow fast. As of Monday evening, fire managers estimate It's burned about 160 acres. Previous estimates of 500 acres were scaled back after better mapping. Its cause is under investigation.
Mark Enty, with the U-S Forest Service, says it's in a tough location, "The terrain is steep, it's rugged. We've got a lot of dead and downed woody debris on the ground. Some of those heavier fuels are going to carry fire for a little bit longer and the finer fuels on the ground are going to help transport that fire to the heavier fuels." The steep terrain helps the fire advance, and Enty says, the weather is a concern, "There's going to be some wind over the fire area and that can be problematic for firefighting and for contributing to more extreme fire behavior depending on the conditions."
Enty tells KBND News, "We've got about 200 personnel on the fire right now. We're trying to add two water scoopers and four more helicopters to our resources." He adds, "We're getting a lot of the resources that we need, and so that's going to help us to do more direct firefighting when it's safe to do so."
Several campgrounds are evacuated. Click HERE for the list of Boulder Fire closures.
In the Deschutes National Forest, crews responded to a half-acre fire near the Lower Three Creeks Sno Park on Monday. They had Incident 441 fully contained by evening.