SISTERS, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said that as the Pole Creek Fire is expected to continue pouring smoke into the Willamette Valley and parts of eastern and central Oregon until the flames are snuffed out by increased rain.
The blaze is expected to burn until autumn rains extinguish it, but there's no moisture in the immediate forecast. A National Weather Service meteorologist said that dry thunderstorms are expected in the area in the coming days.
The fire is now burning in 40 square miles (over 25,500 acres) and continues to spread into the Three Sisters Wilderness area. Officials have listed the fire as 50% contained on Saturday morning. Firefighters have established contingency fire lines around the blaze. The NWS has also issued a red flag warning over the weekend for central and eastern Oregon.
The Bend Bulletin reported firefighters told residents Thursday night that they expect to keep the Pole Creek blaze away from populated areas. But morning smoke is common in the town of 2,000, prompting health advisories.
Here's the latest update from fire officials (as of 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22):
The local community donated socks and home baked cookies to the firefighters and with a limit of one pair of socks per firefighter, socks were gone very quickly.
Firefighters were very appreciative of the generosity of the residents here in sisters.
The Pole Creek fire held at 25,553 acres on Friday. Firefighters completed contingency lines and are conducting mop-up and rehabilitation of fire lines.
There is a RED FLAG WARNING in effect from Friday evening through Saturday evening for the fire area due to potential for thunderstorms producing abundant lightning over the area. The Pole Creek Fire is supporting the Deschutes National Forest with two Initial Attack Task Forces should any lightning fires develop. Resources are staging in Prineville and Bend to support initial attack, should lightning fires develop.
Today firefighters will continue to mop-up and keep fire spread in check to the north in the Three Sisters Wilderness.
Residents in the Crossroads and Edgington/Remuda areas remain under a Level 2, pre-evacuation alert (west of the 16 Road and South of Highway 20 in the vicinity of Sisters). Public safety agencies will keep the public updated about when to leave and which routes to take. In addition, agencies will notify residents when the alert is lifted. In the event that there is a need for evacuation, citizens in affected areas will receive a call from 911 Dispatch with a recorded message with specific evacuation information. To receive these messages on cell phones, citizens are encouraged to register their numbers with the Citizen Alert program. At this time, there are no towns, subdivisions or structures under evacuation.
For firefighter and public safety, the current closure area includes the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) between Trail #3531 and the PCT Trailhead on Highway 242. PCT hikers have a reroute option using the Scott Trail traveling west to Highway 242. The closure still includes Forest Roads 15 (Pole Ck RD) & 16 (Three Creeks Rd) south to FS 4601 Road. Maps and descriptions are available at
- Maps and Services from the Forest Service offices
- For information on smoke tips or call (503) 229-6397
ALL major routes remain open to tourist destinations like Sisters and other central Oregon communities.
The Incident Management Team will host camp tours at the Command Post at the Sisters Rodeo Grounds today. Times: 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. The public is welcome to come see how camp works!
A community fire information update is planned for Sunday, September 23 at 4:00 pm at the Sisters Elementary School, on 611 East Cascades Avenue. The briefing will provide an in-depth update on the Pole Creek fire.