Hatchery, campgrounds under emergency closure

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - A backfire burns on Green Ridge, where a lightning-caused wildfire had burned 620 acres by Wednesday.A lightning fire on Green Ridge, in southwestern Jefferson County, had grown to 620 acres as of Wednesday, when it was 30 percent contained.

The Green Ridge Fire, located three miles northwest of Camp Sherman, was burning in mixed conifer trees and manzanita on the steepest part of the ridge on Monday. "The fire's keeping fairly low," said Kate Goossens, fire spokesperson for the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center.

The NorCal Team 1 took over management of the Cascade Division complex of lightning fires on Aug. 3, but the Green Ridge Fire is the only large fire in the group. The smaller fires were all declared controlled on Monday.

Monday night, the USFS and COIDC held a public meeting at Camp Sherman Community Hall to update the public about the status of the fire, which has caused smoky conditions in the area.

"It's a bit smoky because of the inversions," said Goossens, noting that residents have been advised to stay inside their homes when it's smoky. "It was intermittent the last couple of days."

The COIDC cautioned that hot, dry and unstable weather will likely result in active fire behavior and increased smoke on the fire, which is expected to be contained on Aug. 10.

On Tuesday morning, there were 13 hand crews, six helicopters, 18 engines, five bulldozers and 10 water tenders on the fire, and by Wednesday, a total of 483 personnel on the fire.

As a result of fire suppression activity, Deschutes National Forest has initiated emergency closure on Forest Road 14, from the 900 to 1490 junction; the East Metolius Trail; Lower Bridge Campground; Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery; Allen Springs Campground; and Pioneer Ford Campground.

Another community meeting is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 9, at 6:30 p.m. in the Camp Sherman Community Hall on Camp Sherman Road.

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