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Jul-27-2006 17:24printcomments

Evacuations Ordered In Sisters Due to Black Crater Wildfire (UPDATE)

Heavy fire activity in Deschutes County means some residents have to evacuate. The Black Crater Fire near Sisters is now declared Oregon's second conflagration.

Image: Black Crater fire near Sisters
Fire near Sisters on Thursday
Photo by: Doran and Louise Hays

(SISTERS) - Governor Theodore Kulongoski declared the Black Crater fire located just seven miles southwest of the Deschutes County town of Sisters the second conflagration in one week.

By invoking Oregon's Conflagration Act the Governor allows State Fire Marshal Nancy Orr to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire. The request to invoke the Oregon Conflagration Act came from Deschutes County Fire Defense Board Chief Taylor Robertson.

The lightning-caused fire began on July 23rd, burning 350 acres in steep terrain and shows high growth potential as it threatens residences west of Sisters. The fire is visible from Highway 20 though road and area closures prohibit public access on approximately 70,000 acres around the incident in order to protect the public and fire fighters. There are no reports of injuries or structures lost.

Four task forces consisting of 73 structural firefighters and their associated equipment from Clackamas, Linn, Lane, and Benton counties have deployed to the scene to assist firefighting crews.

Oregon's first 2006 conflagration, the McLean Creek Conflagration, successfully defended all structures and plans to demobilize firefighters returning them to protect their local homes.

Updated fire information is available at OSFM website: egov.oregon.gov/OOHS/SFM.

Additional resources on surviving wildfires may be accessed at Wildfire…Evacuation Readiness: egov.oregon.gov/OOHS/SFM/docs/Comm_Ed/WUI/wildfire_evac.doc After the Wildfire: egov.oregon.gov/OOHS/SFM/docs/Comm_Ed/WUI/After_a_wildfire.doc

The Deschutes County Sheriff and Emergency Services issued evacuation notices Thursday afternoon to Sisters residents in the Crossroads and Edgington neighborhoods.

A pre-evacuation notice has been issued to residents in the Tollgate neighborhood.

The evacuations are due to the Black Crater wildfire that is burning SW of the small Central Oregon town.

Limited access, dead standing timber and continuous downed fuels, along with continued hot and dry weather, and minimal air resources are making the fire tough to fight.

The lighting caused fire has been burning since Sunday and has scorched nearly 500 acres.




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