(Update: fires spread much more, update on evacuations)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A one-day, wind-fanned wildfire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, southeast of Mount Hood, exploded to about 4,300 acres on Saturday night, while that a new fire in Klamath County quickly reached 1,000 acres north of Bonanza, with both fires threatening homes and causing evacuations.
The S-503 fire was reported at around 6 p.m. Friday at the northern end of the reserve, about three miles east of Hwy 26, two miles north of Quartz Butte, and 10 miles south. north of Simnasho, Warm Springs Fire & Safety said Saturday morning. update.
The blaze was estimated to be around 250 acres at 7 a.m. on Saturday, but the hot and windy weather of the day pushed its growth to around 800 acres by late afternoon, according to the interactive fire dashboard from state forest. By 9 p.m., it had grown to 4,500 acres, according to Warm Springs Fire Management, based on updated aerial GPS data.
The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office updated the reservation information on Saturday night, issuing Level 3 GO NOW orders to homes west of the intersection of Back Walters Road and Kelly Springs. Level 2 Get Ready warnings were in place for areas previously under Level 1 (Get Ready) notices, east of Kelly Springs to Reservation Road, including Walters Corners and the community of Pine Grove.
The cause of the fire is undetermined, officials said.
A live webcam in Mount Hood Meadows (third on the page) showed the large, broad plume of smoke from the S-503 Fire. A blanket of smoke was visible north of the Bend area on Saturday.
Meanwhile, in Klamath County, the cutoff fire was reported around 1:30 p.m. Saturday and was burning on private land protected by the BLM about 10 km north of Bonanza. It was estimated to be around 100 acres by late Saturday afternoon and was expanding rapidly eastward, toward the Wren Subdivision.
By nightfall, the blaze was estimated at 1,000 acres, spreading rapidly to the southeast, with many firefighters on the fire and more in command.
The cause of this fire was also under investigation.
About 125 structures were threatened by the fire, according to the Fremont-Winema National Forest and South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership.
Klamath County emergency officials updated evacuation levels on Saturday evening:
- Level 3 (GO NOW)
- East of Bly Mountain Cutoff Road, north of Grizzly Lane, west of Hummingbird Drive and south of Keno Springs Road.
- Level 2 (GET SET)
- East of Bly Mountain Cutoff Road, north to Keno Springs Road, west of Forest Service Road 3812, three miles south.
- Level 1 (TAKE YOURSELF)
- East of Bly Mountain Cutoff Road, north to Hwy 140 and Kingfisher Drive, west of Hummingbird Drive, south to Grizzly Lane.
Klamath County Sheriff’s deputies and search and rescue volunteers were evacuating affected residents.
An incident management team from the Oregon Department of Forestry is on its way. A Klamath County Structural Protection Task Force was on fire and a second had been commissioned.
For the latest evacuation information, visit https://www.facebook.com/KlamathCountyGov. To sign up for Klamath County Alerts, visit http://alerts.klamathcounty.org. The American Red Cross, along with the Klamath County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) have established an evacuation point at Bonanza High School. 31601, rue des Missions.