Milli Fire mapped at 7,800 acres southwest of Sisters, Oregon

air tanker Milli Fire

Above: An air tanker maneuvers over the Milli Fire, August 18, 2017. Photo by Tommy Schroeder, PIO.

(Updated at 6:32 p.m. PDT August 19, 2017.)

The Milli Fire in Central Oregon was very active Thursday and Friday spreading to the east, growing to 7,800 acres. Friday night it was 4 miles southwest of Sisters and 16 miles northwest of Bend.

Strong winds Friday afternoon led to a spot fire across a containment line, pushing the fire 2 to 3 miles southeast toward the city of Sisters. The run triggered evacuations affecting approximately 600 people.

Map of the Milli Fire
3-D map of the Milli Fire looking southwest at 11:45 p.m. PDT August 18, 2017.

Crews overnight worked to build a direct line on the leading edge of the fire, with engine crews patrolling the area and dozer crews constructing fireline. Temperatures today (Saturday) are expected to be a few degrees cooler with higher humidity. However, the winds that pushed the fire on Friday will be back, with gusts up to 22 miles an hour, from around 10 am to 9 pm. Temperatures should range from 70 – 75 degrees, with humidity ranging from 22 to 26%.

The wind could cause more spot fires to develop and firefighters will be actively identifying them and containing them where possible. Also, today firefighters will be working to contain the area where the fire extended yesterday and will be constructing new containment lines between the fire’s edge and the communities that are threatened.

Engine task forces from the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office will be working in the evacuated neighborhoods, treating spaces around homes to provide better defensible space.

Aviation resources have been very important in fighting this fire. Three air tankers and one VLAT (very large air tanker) have been making repeated drops of fire retardant, creating fire lines and assisting our crews in inaccessible areas.

Oregon Highway 242 remains closed from Sisters west to Hwy 126. There are no reports of structures being destroyed in the fire.

The fire is just south of the eclipse path of totality. Highway 20 between Bend and Sisters is still open, but if it closes it could have an impact on eclipse viewers.

Map of the Milli Fire
Map of the Milli Fire at 11:45 p.m. PDT August 18, 2017.

Satellite photo wildfires in Oregon Northwest California
Satellite photo of wildfires in Oregon and Northwest California, August 19, 2017.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

7 thoughts on “Milli Fire mapped at 7,800 acres southwest of Sisters, Oregon”

  1. It saddens me to think that some humans have become so crazed and insensitive that they are concerning themselves over the possibility of their viewing the solar eclipse being hampered from the Milli wildfire smoke. Is it possible that less than 2 minutes of eclipse is more important to them than the horrific reality that the fire is killing animals and plants and burning homes? And, that the fire is putting the lives of our hero, fire and safety personnel, in jeopardy.

  2. So, so heart broken. No other words. A river of tears for all the living creations we are losing. It is so horrific to watch.

  3. Wild land fires ? are horrific and destructive ” But ” they serve an important purpose in the big picture of forest ? health and longevity! It still hurts to see the damage . Gary 30 yr fire fighter Portland .

  4. Not so great for the air quality and global warming, they need to openwen up responsible logging again

  5. Having lived in Sisters /Bend for nearly 30 years. I must say that although the smoke is annoying to say the least and the destruction to the wildlife and animals is truly sad to see, what is being missed here is the feeling you get as a resident as you watch it creep closer to you and get that helpless feeling inside not knowing if it will reach you & your friends, family & the city in which you have made a life. Knowing that there are so many men & women out there putting their lives on the line to try to make sure that doesn’t happen. Thank you to ALL of the many brave firefighters that have kept us safe. Praying for ALL in Sisters.

  6. I’m so grateful for these updates as my son is one of the firefighters. Of course he’s unable to communicate with us which makes this such a valuable resource……Thank You very much!

  7. I too am grateful for the amazing men and women firefighters .
    I still haven’t received a really valid reason why it is so necessary for fires to be allowed to burn uncontrollably in residential areas, threatening homes and the lives of so many people and wildlife.
    The Milli fire and many others like it could have been extinguished when it first
    began and was SMALL. The US Forest Service has some really interesting guidelines regarding burning our forests
    down vs logging and clearing!

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