Warm Springs fire makes run toward Deschutes River

Published Jul 22, 2013 at 06:16PM

A wildfire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation continued to grow today, charging toward the Deschutes River as more firefighters arrived in Central Oregon.

“We just hear a report that the fire is making a run,” Carol Connolly, spokeswoman for the Northwest Coordination Center in Portland, said this afternoon.

The Sunnyside Turnoff Fire had burned more than 20,000 acres, she said. Already 300 firefighters are workign the fire and 400-450 more were expected to arrive tonight, bringing the total crew to about 750 firefighters.

Management of the fire will switch from the Warm Springs Fire Department to Oregon Incident Management Team 4 at 6 p.m. today.

The fire, burning north of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation northwest of Madras, grew overnight from roughly 12,000 acres to 20,000 acres, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

An evacuation is in effect for Wolfe Point, a subdivision, and a scattering of homes in Charley Canyon. Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa was also evacuated at 2 a.m. Sunday. The resort remains evacuated today but officials there announced it may open again Tuesday.

Highway 3, a route from Warm Springs to Kah-Nee-Ta, is closed.

The fire, determined by the fire coordination center to be human-caused, has been burning since Saturday morning and is 20 percent contained. Approximately 129 structures are threatened by the fire, and an uninhabited homestead in Charley Canyon has been burned, the center reported.