The human-caused Nena Springs fire started this past Tuesday (08/08/17) in the late afternoon on private property adjacent to the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. The initial attack was executed by just over 100 local resources. On Friday (08/11/17), the Northwest Incident Management Team 12 took command of the fire. The Oregon State Fire Marshall Office “Blue Team” arrived Friday (08/11/17) with 100 people to focus on structure protection.
440 personnel are working the fire today (08/13/17). The fire size is listed at 40,000 acres with 25% containment. Winds yesterday pushed the northeast portion of the fire to the Deschutes River. Lines were improved around homes in Simnasho and on the S-300 road and Highway 3 in Schoolie Flats.
Evacuation levels were reduced yesterday evening at 6:00. Residences along Highway 3 from Simnasho through Schoolie Flat are now at a Level 2 Evacuation Notice. Highway 3 from the Kah-Nee-Ta Junction to Simnasho is still closed to anyone except homeowners and firefighting apparatus and personnel.
The community of Simnasho is now at a Level 1 Notice. Also at Evacuation Level 1: Fish Hatchery, Charley Canyon, Kah-Nee-Ta, Culpus Bridge, South Junction and Wolfe Point.
Kah-Nee-Ta Resort is open and operating as usual. Indian Head Casino on Highway 26 is also open.
Rain fell on this morning’s 6:00 briefing, where the operation plan was discussed, with part of the focus today on the Northeast perimeter of the fire which is off the Warm Springs Reservation. That includes work across the Deschutes River and on the Nena Creek Drainage. You can see today’s FIRE MAP to see the location of the fire perimeter as of this morning.
Crews will continue to hold off the fire’s advance into Eagle Creek Canyon in the Mutton Mountains and Beaver Creek in the southwest portion of the fire.
Weather today on the Nena Springs fire will be much like yesterday afternoon. The morning rain will help operations early on – but firefighters were reminded that yesterday’s expansion of the fire to the Deschutes River only took about 3 hours – and that was the day after rain fell.
There is a fire hotline set up for public information and an email. If you have questions, you can call 541-460-7525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can hear KWSO’s fire reports as a PODCAST on demand.