Lower Deschutes reopened, but fires continue to burn

Published Jul 23, 2013 at 09:31PM

Authorities reopened a portion of the Lower Deschutes River Tuesday evening but the Sunnyside Turnoff Fire continues to burn on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

The fire is one of two in Central Oregon that have threatened homes and forced authorities to evacuate hundreds and close nearby roads.

The Sunnyside fire, burning since Saturday, resulted in a temporary closure of the river from the Warm Springs put-in at river mile 98 to Nena at river mile 59.

Highway 3 on the reservation is closed at milepost 15 and evacuation orders remain in effect for the Kah-Nee-Ta Resort and Charley Canyon, according to the dispatch center.

The fire is more than 22,320 acres and is 40 percent contained, according to Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 4. It is burning south of the Mutton Mountains, northeast of Upper Dry Creek Road and north and west of the Deschutes River.

South of Bend, where the Stagecoach Fire burns between Gilchrist and La Pine, authorities blamed the fire on an abandoned campfire. Kelly Porter, 30, was arrested and charged with one count each of first-degree arson and reckless burning. That fire has charred approximately 350 acres 8 miles northeast of Gilchrist and is 10 percent contained, according to the dispatch center.