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Red Cross opens evacuation shelter in Sisters; some Oregonians told to prepare to evacuate

Smoke from the Milli Fire. (Deschutes National Forest)

SISTERS, Ore. - Firefighters from Lane County have mobilized to help protect homes threatened by the Milli Fire burning near Sisters.

Many residents in the area have been put on notice to evacuate.

The Milli Fire is burning 6 miles west of Sisters.

The fire has burned 3,500 acres as of Thursday and is burning out of control, with 0 percent containment.

A public meeting about the fire is planned for 6 to 7 p.m. at Sisters High School, 1700 McKinney Butte Rd. This is a change in location from Sisters Middle School, which is now in use by the Red Cross as an evacuation shelter.

LANE COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS MOBILIZE

The Lane County Task Force was set to assemble at McKenzie Fire Station # 3 in Leaburg at noon Thursday.

The State of Oregon can mobilize firefighters to protect homes from wildfires under the state conflagration act.

The team includes engines from Eugene-Springfield Fire, Lane Fire Authority, Dexter Fire and South Lane Fire, as well as a water tender from McKenzie Fire & Rescue.

The task force is under the leadership of Larry Merrill from Lane Fire Authority.

EVACUATION NOTICES NEAR SISTERS

The Deschutes County Sheriff issued evacuation notices for residents near the fire.

A Level 2 (Get Set) Evacuation notice was made for all areas south of Hwy 242 (McKenzie Hwy) and west of the Pole Creek Ditch (1-1 1/2 Miles west of and parallel to FS Road 16/Three Creeks Rd). The area includes the Crossroads Subdivision and homes off of Edgington Road and Remuda Road. This area was under a Level 1 (BE READY) notice.

"Level 2: Means "BE SET" to evacuate," the sheriff's office said. "You must prepare to leave at a moment's notice. This level indicates there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntary relocate to a shelter or with family and friends outside of the affected area, or if choosing to remain, to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice."

A Level 1 (BE READY) Pre-Evacuation notice is issued for all areas between Highway 242 and Highway 20 from the Cold Springs Campground to the city of Sisters, which includes the Tollgate Subdivision.

The City of Sisters and Black Butte Ranch are not included in the evacuation notice, the sheriff's office said.

RED CROSS SHELTER IN SISTERS

The Red Cross opened a shelter at Sisters Middle School, 15200 Hwy 242, in Sisters.

"Individuals and families affected by the wildfire and in need of shelter assistance are encouraged to simply show up at the shelter for help," the Red Cross said in a statement.

The Red Cross and the Pet Evacuation Team of Central Oregon are working together to help animals displaced by the fire. A representative from the Pet Evacuation Team will be at the Red Cross shelter to answer questions and help people.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO FOREST RESTRICTED

The Willamette and Deschutes national forests implemented a closure order for a large portion of the Three Sisters Wilderness due to the fire.

The Willamette National Forest has closed all trails south of Highway 242 into the Three Sisters Wilderness on the Willamette National Forest with the exception of Proxy Falls, which remains open.

Also closed is the Obsidian Trailhead and Obsidian Limited Entry Area.

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