– The two major incidents in Central Oregon continue to be engaged by firefighters this morning.
The Buck Fork and Murderers Creek fires in the South Fork Complex have now burned together on the south flank. The 49,390 acre fire is burning on a combination of private lands and Forest Service and BLM-managed lands. There are numerous evacuations and closures in place due to fire activity for both fires. The fire information number for this incident remains 866-347-0636. Pacific Northwest Team 3 (Type I- Lewis) has been ordered to take over management of the South Fork Complex which will happen in the next day or two.
The Muskrat Fire, ½ mile from Muskrat Lake and 2 miles northwest of Cultus Lake is approximately 50 acres today with no containment. 4 helicopters, 1 airtanker and several smokejumpers and rappellers made good progress on the fire yesterday afternoon and evening working to slow growth of the fast moving blaze. The smokejumpers and rappellers have stayed on the fire overnight and will continue to work the fire this morning, focusing on identifying and removing the overhead hazard of numerous snags around the fire area. Firefighters are challenged by the rugged terrain of the area within the Three Sisters Wilderness of the Deschutes National Forest so aerial resources will be returning to work on the fire today. The evacuation notices put in place yesterday by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office remain in place.
· A Level III evacuation notice for the area located on the west and north shores of Cultus Lake, which also includes the back country area, north of Cultus Lake including Corral Swamp, Winopee Lake, Muskrat Lake and Teddy Lake.
· A Level II evacuation notice was issued for Cultus Lake Resort and campground.