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Aug-26-2010 23:25printcomments

Erratic Winds Push Flames of Scott Mountain Fire

There are a number of related closures.

Scott Mountain Fire photos from August 25, 2010  As seen from Fritz/Wildcat area.
Scott Mountain Fire photos from August 25, 2010 As seen from Fritz/Wildcat area. Credit: James Rudisill

(SCOTT MOUNTAIN, Oregon) - The 950-acre Scott Mountain Fire is burning approximately two miles northeast of Scott Mountain, 15 miles west of Sisters, and 14 miles northeast of McKenzie Bridge in the Mt. Washington Wilderness Area.

The interagency Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3 has assumed command of this fire. Smoke from the Scott Mountain Fire has impacted and will continue to impact central Oregon and was being reported yesterday as far away as the lower Santiam Canyon area just east of Salem. More information on closures and fire status is available on Inciweb at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2082/.

As anticipated, Scott Mountain Fire put up a visible smoke column Wednesday. Teams on site say the fire was active as erratic winds pushed the fire perimeter outward toward the north and east.

There was some single tree torching on the eastern edge of the fire as it moved into the lava flows. Firefighters made good progress; tying together existing roads and trails to be used as containment lines.

Scott Mountain firefighting resources worked in cooperation with McKenzie River Ranger District firefighters to provide initial attack for four new fire starts.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

A marine surge last night and today will affect fire activity. Even with expected humidity in the 35-40% range, the fire will continue to move in heavy dead and down fuels. It will continue to be wind driven toward the east and northeast with some channeling around geographic features. This afternoon wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour may make a strong push on the fire.

Today’s Planned Actions:

Firefighters continue to work along existing roads and trails; improving them for use as firelines. Routes are being connected to create a perimeter around the Scott Mountain Fire.

Scott Mountain Fire is being managed for multiple objectives. Firefighter safety is always the first priority, according to officials.

Other objectives for the fire include keeping the fire out of the Anderson Creek drainage, active timber sales on the Willamette National Forest, spotted owl habitat and developed sites to the south of Mt. Washington Wilderness.

Within the Mt. Washington Wilderness, firefighters will continue to use techniques that minimize the impact of suppression efforts on the character of the wilderness.

Closures:

Highway 242 has been closed. The narrow, winding road is a primary access point for firefighters working on the Scott Mountain Fire.

An emergency closure is in place for the area bounded by Oregon State Highway 126 on the west, bounded by Oregon State Highway 242 on the south and described by the Deschutes/Linn County Line on the east. The northern boundary of the closure is defined by the section line separating Sections 25 and 36 in T 14 S, R 7 ½ E and east from there to the intersection of the Section line separating Sections 29 and 32 in T 14 S, R 7 E with Highway 126.

The closure includes all roads east of Highway 126, many of which access trailheads into the Mt Washington wilderness. The primary roads are: 2664 (Robinson Lake), 2657 (Olallie), 2653 (Boulder Creek), 2649 (Scott Creek), and 2647 (Cupola).

Additionally, Scott Lake and Alder Springs campgrounds are closed and visitors have been required to leave. Trails 3508 Robinson Lake, 3513 (Hand Lake) and 3502 (Benson Lake) are also closed. State Highway 126, the Pacific Crest Trail, Belknap Crater Trail and Limberlost Campground are open.




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