July 17th, 2014 (morning update from Fire Management Team)
The Shaniko Butte Fire was very active on Wednesday, growing to approximately 18,000 acres – and the wind and fire never let up through the night as the fire spread further to the north and east Thursday morning.
Fire-fighting handcrews, engines, a bulldozer, and a light helicopter battled 100+ degree temperatures and 15 to 25 mile per hour winds. Their work was focused along the southwest edge of the fire to prevent its spread in the direction of homes and other structures in the Simnasho area. Firelines established Tuesday helped fire-fighters slow the western spread on Wednesday.
An additional Type 1 crew and a heavy helicopter arrived Wednesday afternoon and began engaging the fire along the southern and western flanks. Winds pushed the north side of the fire across the S-430 Road and the east side of the fire into the upper portions of Eagle Creek toward Mutton Mountains.
A Level 2 Notice, advising residents to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice, has been issued for all residences along Road S-300. A Level 1 Notice, advising residents to begin making preparations to leave in case the fire approaches, has been issued for four homes in the vicinity of Dant, Oregon. The Bureau of Land Management increased patrols and recreation information along the Deschutes River in the vicinity of its confluence with Eagle Creek in case the fire threatens this highly popular river corridor. The Deschutes River may be used as a water source, so river users are warned to be alert to the possibility of helicopters dipping water from the river. For everyone’s safety, please do not approach a working helicopter.
Smoke from Shaniko Butte Fire combined with smoke from the nearby Bridge 99 Fire Complex and fires in the Olallie Lakes area to cover the entire Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation in a light layer of smoke throughout the day despite significant shifts in the wind direction