Rain, cooler temperatures and hard work by firefighters prevented the fire burning at Warm Springs Reservation, dubbed the Nena Spring Fire, from spreading on Sunday. Crews were able to safely access significant areas of un-contained perimeters, due to the colder and wetter conditions.
Mike Leecy, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Supervisory Timber Presale Technician, uses a drip torch to burn black line; a containment line created to burn/remove the short grasses from the path of the fire.
According to the Oregon State Fire Marshal, firefighters made progress around the southern edge of the recent growth of the fire into the Deschutes River Canyon. In some areas crews put in fire lines used "cold trailing" techniques. This evolves using bare hands to feel along the edge of the fire to assure that no heat remains.
Structure protection resources are making good progress around the communities of Simnasho, Mutton Mountain and Indian Head Canyon to assure that no more structures are lost.
With the change in weather and strong westerly winds on Sunday, air quality has also greatly improved in the region.
On Aug. 8, the human caused Nena Springs Fire ignited on private property adjacent to the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. High winds caused the fire to grow very quickly. Over 114 firefighters with engines, dozers, large airtankers and helicopters immediately responded to contain the fire.
Firefighters will attempt to carefully burnout eastern areas near the perimeter, which may create more short-term smoke for the area.
As progress continues toward containment, some of the crews, engines and heavy equipment are being released from this incident and being made available for other fires in the region.
Evacuations provided by the Oregon State Fire Marshal
- All Level 3 evacuation notices have been canceled.
- The Kah-Nee-Ta Resort, the Fish Hatchery Grade area, the Charlie Canyon Subdivision and Wolf Point remain at a Level 1 evacuation notice.
- The Schoolie Flat, Simnasho, and S-300 subdivisions are all at Level 2, however only residents will be allowed in at this time.
- Due to lack of need, the Red Cross shelter at the Warm Springs Community Center has closed.
The S-300 Road and Highway 3 remain closed to non-residents to allow fire traffic to safely patrol the area.
Public schools open today. The public and fire personnel are being asked to please drive cautiously, especially on Hwy 3 between Warm Springs and the Kah-Nee-Tah Resort.