A wind-fanned wildfire erupted four miles east of the North Sister Sunday morning, racing through live and downed timber and prompting evacuations of campsites and trails over a wide area west of Sisters. Campers, hikers, and horsement were sent fleeing. Fire at least 100 acres and rapidly growing. Flames could easily been seen from Crooked River.
The Pole Creek Fire is in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area. By 1 p.m., the fire, burning in timber and downed trees, had grown to at least 150 acres and was growing very fast in blustery winds, officials said.
Three helicopters were over the fire assessing the attack while four air tankers were ordered up.
The (Pole Creek Trailhead on the wilderness boundary) parking lot was threatened. Officials were trying to get folks out of the way of the fire, not headed to their cars.”
Smoke jumpers were called in early on but were unable to deploy due to the winds.
Fire managers and 911 dispatchers urged people to stay out of the area and said those in the area were being urged to evacuate to Park Meadow or the Obsidian Trailhead for further evacuations from Highway 242 (the McKenzie Pass Highway.)
If they can't get there, they need to get to a "safe zone," dispatchers said -- that being anywhere they are not surrounded by timber, or head to a body of water for safety. It was reported that at least 4 vehicles were lost and more damaged.