Firefighters on the Sheep Springs Fire in the Metolius Basin finished burnout operations last Friday and began mop up, extinguishing hot spots and fire along the perimeter.
The fire, spotted on June 27, was caused by lightning in the Brush Creek drainage on the Sisters Ranger District. Crews were able to successfully complete a burnout operation using existing roads to create a containment perimeter in the hazardous location.
Mop up operations along the perimeter began on June 30, to secure the lines while maintaining firefighter safety. Fire officials are managing the Sheep Springs Fire for full suppression using existing roads to create containment lines. By using existing roads, fire officials can reduce firefighters' exposure to overhead hazards.
The Sheep Springs Fire, burning in an area previously burned by the B&B Fire in 2003, is located in an area predominantly covered in snags, which are often structurally weakened and pose a serious hazard for fire personnel. Due to the extremely hazardous nature of the incident's location, Deschutes National Forest leadership and fire officials implemented tactics that provide for firefighter and public safety.
There are currently no closures in effect for the Sheep Springs Fire, but there will be increased fire traffic in the Metolius Basin area and around the town of Sisters. Bridge 99 along the Metolius River may be used as a dip site for helicopters should water drops become necessary.
A local Type 3 Incident Management Team took command of the fire on June 27. On Friday, resources included one hotshot crew, two dozers, two Type-2 initial attack crews, two Type-2 handcrews, two water tenders, falling bosses and miscellaneous overhead.
The fire, a result of two lightning-struck trees, was burning approximately 20 miles north of Sisters, less than a mile northeast of Sheep Springs Campground and roughly a half-mile west of Forest Road 12. The fire is approximately 700 acres and is expected to continue to grow as sections of the interior burn.
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