October 11, 2012
Sisters, OR - On Tuesday, October 9th, a Type IV Incident Management Team (IMT) assumed command of the Pole Creek Fire. The Type IV Incident Commander (IC), Derek Ramsey has taken over management responsibilities of the fire and is using available firefighting resources to continue fire suppression and rehabilitation efforts. Helicopter flights over the fire Tuesday and Wednesday provided the IC with valuable information on current fire status.
Containment goals grow nearer as crews continue their persistent, arduous work. Engine crews and hand crews carry on their task of mopping-up hot spots along the fire perimeter and back-hauling excess equipment off the line. The Burned Area Emergency Rehab (BAER) Team is working closely with the IMT to identify rehabilitation opportunities, while crews and equipment operators get busy implementing the work on the ground.
The Pole Creek Fire continues its slow westerly creep towards natural barriers of rock within the Three Sisters Wilderness. As this still-active part of the fire reaches natural barriers and constructed hand line, fire activity will decrease and fire spread will come to a halt.
Light smoke can be expected in the area, especially during evenings and early mornings as cooler air pushes smoke into low-lying areas. During the warmer periods of the day, small columns of smoke may be visible as isolated islands of unburned fuel (vegetation) within the fire perimeter are consumed.
A high pressure system will remain over the area today with dry weather and seasonal temperatures. Help from Mother Nature is expected Friday through Monday as a series of cold fronts move into the area. A chance of rain and lower temperatures are likely with this predicted weather system.
Residents are reminded that fire season is still in effect and the Pole Creek Fire is not fully contained. Hunting season, coupled with chilly evenings and continued dry conditions cause concern for new fire starts. If you are traveling in the forest, please observe current fire restrictions and stay alert. Information on fire restrictions can be obtained at local Forest Service offices.
Area Closure: An area around the fire remains closed to public access during fire suppression activities. The closure area includes: Forest Road 16 (Three Creek Lake), Forest Road 15 (Pole Creek Road), and a portion of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCNST). A reroute is in place for that portion of the PCNST that is closed. Please refer to the website: www.inciweb.org/incident/3244, for further fire and closure information which includes maps and photos.
The size of the fire is 26,795 acres and is 85% contained. Full containment is expected by October 15th. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No injuries have been reported, nor have any structures been reported damaged or lost since the beginning of the fire on September 9, 2012.
Resources: 97 people assigned to the fire. Type I hand crews: 1, Type II hand crews: 1, Engines: 5, Water Tenders: 1, Chippers: 2, Helicopters: 1 (medium lift), Overhead: 15
Additional fire updates will be issued as conditions change.