'We were afraid that we were going to lose everything'
(Update: Adding new video, 30% containment, resident comments)
La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A wildfire that broke out Saturday afternoon just east of La Pine on the Deschutes National Forest has been fully lined at 393 acres, and a Level 1 pre-evacuation notice for the nearby Newberry Estates neighborhood has been lifted, officials said Sunday.
The Rosland Road Fire was reported on the Deschutes National Forest about a mile from Newberry Estates just after 2 p.m. Saturday. It grew quickly in the afternoon and was estimated at 200 acres by early evening, according to U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Jean Nelson-Dean.
But as night fell, officials said forward progress had been stopped and crews were strengthening containment lines and patrolling for hot spots.
By Sunday evening, the fire was 30% contained. Officials said the blaze stayed within containment lines.
About 180 firefighters working in a Type 3 team that took over management of the firefighting efforts Sunday morning worked throughout the day to strengthen containment lines and mop up hot spots within the interior of the fire.
Winds stayed light Sunday afternoon, which helped keep the fire within containment lines, officials said.
By 10 a.m. Sunday, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office dropped a Level 1 "Get Ready" pre-evacuation notice for about 150 homes in the Newberry Estates subdivision, only about a mile from where the fire began.
A fearsome afternoon and evening of a tall, dark plume of roiling wildfire smoke so close to home definitely had an impact in that neighborhood.
"When I looked at it, it looked like it was coming near our house," resident Jennifer Lawrence recalled Sunday. "And so when I got up here, it was a lot closer than I thought, and I found out it was right off of Rosland, which is about a mile from our house.
"So we were afraid that we were going to lose everything. You know, it's kind of scary, and all our pictures and everything. But we were packed and getting ready to go if we needed to."
Officials said firefighters would work Sunday night and Monday to continue to secure line and do water hose lays throughout the fire to maintain control.
About 75 firefighters using air tankers, helicopters, engines, bulldozers and building hand line worked on the fire Saturday. By days end, they had lined the fire with either dozer line or roads, which stopped the fire's forward progression.
Nelson-Dean said firefighters were helped when the fire moved into an area on the forest that had been treated to reduce hazardous fuels. Fire behavior significantly lessened as the fire hit the treated area, allowing firefighters a wider range of options to fight the fire, including more direct tactics. she said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, she said.
The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office said Sunday morning it was dropping the Level 1 (Be Ready) pre-evacuation notice for Newberry Estates.
"Firefighters are continuing to improve containment lines and check for spot fires," said Sgt. Nathan Garibay, the county's emergency services manager.
"Residents should remain vigilant, as conditions can change, but the risk to Newberry Estates is considered low at this time," Garibay said.
However, he noted, "with dry conditions and forcast hot temperatures, fire danger is high throughout our region."
Garibay also urged people to "please avoid the area east of Newberry Estates, south to Finley Butte Road (Forest Service Road 22) as fire operations are continuing in this area for the next few days."
Two heavy air tankers were sent to the blaze Saturday to drop retardant, along with five engines, a 20-person crew, two Hotshot crews (one from Redmond), water-dropping helicopters and a water tender, Nelson-Dean said.
"We've got numerous resources on this fire at this time," Forest Service spokeswoman Jaimie Olle told NewsChannel 21 near the fire scene Saturday afternoon, "both because it's located close to homes, close to communities, and also because we're really trying to catch these fires early this season and get a good handle on them."
Fortunately, late-afternoon winds were pushing the fire to the south, away from the subdivision, Nelson-Dean said.
La Pine resident Don Hazeltine was among the many closely watching the firefighting effort on Saturday.
"We saw air attack coming in with the spotter planes, and we've seen two Forest Service crews go in, and a (bull)dozer," he said. "And there's been other fire resources going in. And we've seen quite a few, I guess it would be residents heading in quickly, too, for the Level 1 'Get Ready'" pre-evacuation notice.
Level 1 means “BE READY“ for potential evacuation, the sheriff's office said. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information.
"This is the time for preparation and precautionary movements of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock. If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact you via an emergency notification system," the statement said.
DCSO said the decision was made after consultation with fire managers and authorized by Sheriff Shane Nelson.
"We will continue to work with fire managers to ensure public safety and prevent conflicts between citizens and fire operations," the sheriff's office said, adding, "We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of residents."
Follow the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter and Facebook for update information.
Current maps including evacuation areas can be found at:
For fire information, you can visit the Central Oregon Fire Information site at:
The Pet Evacuation Team was placed on pre-evacuation notice for the Rosland Fire, Regional Coordinator Jamie Kanski said.
If evacuations take place, she said, volunteers will set up a staging area at an as-yet undetermined location, to intake and house animals until the evacuation order has been lifted.