Due to clear skies on Thursday, firefighters were able to fly over the Milli Fire to assess damage and figure out what to do next.
“Fire behavior consists mostly of creeping and smoldering with occasional single-tree torching,” according to a recent update from fire officials.
Thursday's mission had crews patrolling the perimeter of the fire as they mopped up the northern, southern and southeastern borders. The fire continues to burn down slope to the west as containment lines are strengthened to the east. For information on forest closures, visit the USDA website.
OR 242 is likely to remain closed as crews remove hazard trees and make repairs.
Hot, dry weather over the next few days can lead to clearer skies, but air quality may vary depending on the behavior of several fires in the area. Some level 1 and 2 evacuations are still in effect for the Milli Fire. Level 2 evacuations remain for the Crossroads subdivision, Edgington Road, Remuda Road, Peterson Burn Road, Wildwing and Three Creeks Road residences. Level 1 evacuations are affecting residents of the Tollgate subdivision, all areas between OR 242 and US 20 and west of Cold Springs Cutoff (Forest Road 1018) which includes Black Butte Ranch.
The only current road closure is OR 242, although Highway 20 continues to be backed up from the fires in that area. “The busy U.S. 20 corridor over Santiam Pass has been particularly affected by the fires,” according to an update from ODOT. A pilot car is being used to direct two-way traffic for 1.5 miles over the pass, causing traffic delays. Before planning a trip, check www.tripcheck.com for further information.
“Since January, there have been close to 600 human-caused fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry,” according to the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). There continues to be a high fire risk heading into Labor Day weekend. ODF and Keep Oregon Green wnt remind visitors and locals to follow guidelines to prevent new fires from being started. These include following the campfire bans and restrictions, only operating motorized vehicles on established roads, checking vehicles for dragging tow chains that can send sparks into roadside vegetation and more. To check on fire restriction information visit the Oregon Department of Forestry website.
The fire started on Aug. 10 from lightning in the Willamette National Forest and has grown to 2,248 acres. Now, the Nash Fire threatens areas off of Cascade Lakes Highway.
A level 1 evacuation notice is in place for areas surrounding Lava Lake including Lava Lake Resort, Lava Lake Campground and Little Lava Lake Campground.
A level 2 evacuation notice is affecting areas surrounding Elk Lake and Hosmer Lake, including Elk Lake Resort, Elk Lake Campground, Point Campground, Little Fawn Campground, Mallard Marsh Campground, Sunset View Day Use Area, Beach Day Use Area and Quinn Meadows Horse Camp.
For information on emergency evacuation levels, check on the City of Bend website.