Darlene 3 Fire Update | June 29, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 29, 2024 10:00am

Central Oregon —Fire crews were able to increase containment to 50% on the 3,889-acre Darlene 3 Fire. All containment lines held overnight. Increasing containment and keeping the fire within its current footprint remains the primary focus. Remaining fire crews will continue to watch for spotting and provide structure protection if necessary.

Saturday will be the last day for the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Red Team on the incident and Central Oregon’s Type 3 Incident Management Team will assume full command. “It’s been an honor to be in unified command with our partners at Central Oregon Fire Management Service,” said OSFM Red Team Incident Commander Ian Yocum. “We are here to protect the people of Oregon to keep fires small and away from communities, and we can support that mission because of the Oregon fire service, and their willingness to answer the call. We’re leaving the Darlene 3 Fire in the excellent hands of our wildland partners, and they will continue to provide for the safety of La Pine.”

The weather continues to be favorable for fire suppression, with low winds during the day and high humidity at night. Some smoke will continue to remain in the area due to the stable atmosphere, especially in low lying areas. Friday night saw the last night shift, and firefighters will continue to conduct day operations focused on full containment, supported by infrared drones checking for hot spots.

At noon on Friday, June 28, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office was able to reduce the evacuation level for Newberry Estates from Level 3 (Go Now) to a Level 2 (Be Set). Additionally, all evacuation notices have been lifted for the area west of Hwy 97 and north of Burgess Road. For the most up-to-date official evacuation information please visit Deschutes County evacuation information: www.deschutes.org/emergency. The La Pine Activity Center remains open for RVs to park and has meals for evacuees and N95 masks for those impacted by smoke. N95 and KN95 masks are also available free to the public at both La Pine Rural Fire Department fire stations and the department’s administrative building. Air quality information can be found at aqi.oregon.gov or by downloading the OregonAir app.

As residents return to their homes, fire managers would like to remind everyone that this is just the beginning of fire season. Residents can help improve the safety and efficiency of firefighters by maintaining defensible space around their homes. Well-maintained defensible space entails removing all flammable material around the home for a 5-foot radius and trimming vegetation away from siding and eaves, as well as removing fallen leaves and needles from roofs and decks. Working outward, residents can keep the surrounding vegetation lean and green, reduce ladder fuels and limb up trees to help prevent fire from reaching the crowns.   

There are fire weakened trees within the fire footprint. Firefighters will be conducting falling operations to mitigate hazard trees, so it is critical that visitors avoid closed areas. Prairie Campground and the Rosland OHV area and associated trails remain closed. McKay Crossing Campground, Ogden Group Campground and 6 Mile Sno Park will reopen at noon on Sunday, June 30. An Area Emergency Closure is also in effect on the Deschutes National Forest, the notice and closure map are available here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd1183408.pdf. Paulina Lake Road and NFSR 22 east of the closure boundary are still open for public use. The Prineville District Bureau of Land Management’s Emergency Public Land Closure also remains in effect. This notice is available online at https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions.

For current wildfire updates, the public can visit centraloregonfire.org or follow fire information on X (Twitter) @CentralORFire or call the Central Oregon Fire Info phone line: 541.316.7711.

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