Bulletin staff report

An evacuation warning remains in place for about 27 households in the Mark’s Creek area northeast of Prineville as the Desolation Fire continues to burn in the nearby Mill Creek Wilderness on the Ochoco National Forest.

The fire, which has burned almost 1,600 acres, is zero percent contained. But firefighters worked through the night Wednesday to keep the fire north of U.S. Highway 26 and protect the adjacent homes, according to the Forest Service.

Residents in the Mark’s Creek area are under a Level 2 evacuation notice, which advises them to stay alert and be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.

A community meeting is scheduled at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Eastside Church in Prineville for officials to share information about the fire.

About 195 firefighters are working Thursday on a burnout operation along Forest Road 200, where they will set fire inside the containment lines between the fire and private homes along Highway 26.

Crews with logging equipment will also be creating a fire line along Forest Road 27 in the event the fire should move to the north, according to the Forest Service.

Smoky conditions continue near the fire and along Highway 26 in the Ochoco Divide area. Motorists should use caution when traveling through the area.

All of Mill Creek Wilderness and Forest Service land north of the wilderness up to and including Forest Roads 27, 2730 and 2745 remain closed.

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