Crook County authorities have advised residents of 27 homes to evacuate as a wildfire in the Ochoco Mountains of Central Oregon grows in heavy timber.
Crook County emergency services manager Michael Ryan said most people complied with the evacuation alert issued Thursday morning, but a few former wildland firefighters living in the Marks Creek area stayed behind.
The evacuation area includes the Mount Bachelor Academy, which was shut down by the state in 2009 amid allegations it mistreated troubled teens.
Ryan says the Bailey Butte fire, part of the Waterman Complex west of Mitchell, moved into heavy timber in a wilderness area overnight and built up strength. It is now moving to the southeast, flanking the Marks Creek area.
Meanwhile- The Oregon Department of Forestry is reporting excellent progress on the Moccasin Hill Fire. It is now 55-percent contained and the operations chief there says crews have gone from “catching and holding” the fire to securing the lines. Joe Hessel anticipates handing over efforts to local crews within a few days. At the White River Fire, a number of firefighters are either being re-assigned or sent home. The 650-acre fire is 95-percent contained and crews were engaged in mop-up efforts today.