The Northeast corner of the Lionshead fire grew over the weekend and this morning (9/14/20), That fire activity led to the Evacuation Level for Sidwalter and Miller Flats to be raised to a Level 2 – “be SET to go at a moment’s notice.” Also, Simnasho & Schoolie Flats residents are in a Level 1 – “be aware there is a fire in the area and be READY.”
Today’s priority on the Lionshead Fire is protecting life and properties on the Warm Springs Reservation. Crews have begun strategic firing operations off the B-200 road further to the east. As the fire continues to move to the north, crews will be focusing on staying ahead of the fire, watching the Cedar and Badger Creek drainages closely as it continues to push to the north and northeast.
Firefighters are also providing structure protection to protect the Warm Springs community. The Warm Springs Hotshots are starting their day at Sisi Butte and are looking for opportunities to take a control line to the north. On the North west flank, crews will continue securing a spot fire between the 46 Road and the powerline corridor north of Breitenbush and preparing containment options using roads in the area.
You can see today’s full, morning fire update HERE
View today’s fire map HERE
Hazardous air quality today kept Warm Springs Tribal Offices and the Warm Springs IHS Clinic closed today except for essential services. CTWS is scheduled to open tomorrow morning at 8am unless there are any changes to the situation.
There is a Shelter set up at the Old Elementary School Gym Building for anyone needing relief from the smoke. This will also be the Evacuation Center as needed should evacuation levels increase. The entrance is through the back door.
Motorists are reminded to reduce speed and keep your headlights on driving in Central Oregon with the thick smoke conditions.
Well, the weather didn’t pan out as forecasters had hoped. That means smoke should stick around until the end of this week. Air quality across the region is bad. The National Weather Service predicts unhealthy air quality will last through the week. That means more people could experience the short-term effects of breathing in all that soot. Everything from headaches and itchy throats to wheezing and shortness of breath.
Longer-term, doctors worry about what chronic smoke exposure could mean for people dealing with lung and heart conditions. It’s also a mental health concern, especially for people near the fires, says Lauren Jenks, with the Washington state Department of Health. Jenks: “It’s the trauma of being in a fire, and maybe losing their home. It’s emotional impacts and mental health impacts, and some very intense and long-term exposure to the smoke.”
She’s concerned about the mental health problems that may come with further isolation during the pandemic. But she says it’s important not to gather indoors and spread the coronavirus, even if that is where you can breathe better air.
FOR ADDITIONAL FIRE INFORMATION: Fire Information: 971-277-5075