PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Milli Fire is still burning nine miles west of Sisters on Wednesday.
Officials say it has burned approximately 12,457 acres and is 23% contained.
On Wednesday morning, Crossroads subdivision, Edgington Road, Remuda Road, Peterson Burn Road, Wild Wing and Three Creeks Road residences returned to Level 2 (Be Set) Evacuation Notice, allowing residents to return to their homes.
“They came by my door last Thursday and advised people to leave,” Crossroads resident Jeff Schuler, who did evacuate, told KOIN 6 News.
Shuler’s family was able to return home, but are on alert in case the fire flares up again.
The northwest, west and southwest sides of the fire remain active. The fire grew near Black Crater Lake, but was moving slowly. On the southwest side, the fire came across Forest Road 1026 burning into old Pole Creek Fire burned area. The western side is in the wilderness and is expected to slowly move towards the lava fields where it will naturally stop. Control lines on the northeastern and southeastern sides of the fire were further reinforced with wider lines and cooling off hot spots around the fire perimeter.
The fire neared Black Butte Ranch on Tuesday but crews are optimistic they will be able to keep it back. No structures have been destroyed so far.
The haze and smoke extends all the way to Warm Springs, more than an hour away by car. Other fires in Oregon and northern California are contributing to the pollution. The air quality is considered unhealthy in Bend and hazardous in Sisters.
“It will hang out for several more days especially as crews do back burning and there is an inversion,” spokesperson Andrew Mitchell said.
There are nearly 700 people working on the fire, but it’s burning in an area of steel terrain, making fighting the flames difficult. Crews are not able to use bulldozers to create containment lines and some areas are completely inaccessible and loaded with dry trees and brush.