Lionshead Fire Update, September 24, 2020

Rain & Wind Affect Firefighting Efforts 

Special Notes: A virtual fire information public meeting was held on September 23, 2020. To view a recording of the meeting, go to https://www.facebook.com/LionsheadFire

Schools have reopened. Please be aware of increased traffic.  

Current Situation:  

The wind picked up Wednesday afternoon, resulting in increased burning in green islands well within the fire’s perimeter. The fire gained some acreage, but containment remained at 15%. Rain fell on the fire overnight. This will reduce fire behavior and should allow crews to make even more progress. The rain was variable, but over an inch fell on some sections of the fire. 

In the wake of most wildfires, there are dead trees (snags) as well as trees that are fire-weakened that tend to fall, sometimes with little warning. These trees create a hazard to firefighters as well as having the potential to block roadways needed for travel in and around the fire. Firefighters refer to these as hazard trees.  When such trees are found to constitute a danger, they are cut down by crews of experienced fallers or removed with equipment. 

The rainfall expected today will improve air quality. Rainfall may cause slippery roads and make travel in and around the fire difficult. Debris flows are possible, however, the amount of rain predicted is not expected to create widespread flooding.  

Firefighting Efforts by Division: (Refer to the map for division breakdown.) 

Very little movement has occurred on the north edge of the fire in Division A over the past few days. The contingency line north of the fire’s active edge is secure. This line should prevent spread of the fire if fire behavior picks up. Containment line is secure all the way south to Division R. Previous burnouts look secure. Progress was made in the Badger Butte area, although work continues to close a gap in constructed line. Interior islands burning out showed considerable smoke. 

The east side of Division A is in patrol status with mop up operations still seeing a little heat. Crews were pulled out of some parts of Division A on Wednesday due to wind for crew safety. 

In Division E, patrol and chipping operations continue.  

Divisions G, I, K, and N have been quiet for several days and continue to be secure. Firefighters are monitoring and patrolling this area. Most of the road system has been prepped and is now being reinforced for indirect line.  

On the southeast perimeter, working west from the Division N/R break (north of Jefferson Lake), the fireline has been secured west to the lava rock area. This area will be monitored by air operations and watched by lookouts. All line on the 12 Road is complete just short of the 20 Road. Firefighters still have work to do removing logs and slash.  

Much of the fire perimeter in Division S has checked itself along the road system. There hasn’t been any significant fire movement or spread in this division for several days.  

The fire in Division T has mostly checked on existing roads. Crew work is primarily patrol and cold trailing along the fire’s edge. Cold trailing is a method of controlling a partly dead fire edge by carefully inspecting and feeling with the hands to detect and extinguish any remaining heat. Firefighters are looking for and containing any spread across roadways.  

The structure group continues their work in Detroit, Idanha, New Idanha, and Breitenbush securing line and mopping up. 

Crews in Division W, Y and Z secured spot fires found near 46 Road. The 46 Road remains closed to the public due to the large amount of heavy equipment required for this effort. This road may remain closed until snags and other hazards are cleared and the road is deemed safe for public travel.  

The north contingency group is reinforcing indirect line in Divisions A and Z along the road system. The north contingency group is working in close coordination with Riverside Fire managers to identify opportunities to connect existing roads that both fires could use in the event these indirect lines are needed. The line is being secured with heavy equipment and hand crews removing fuels. The south contingency group is working along County Road 12 to County Road 20, improving fuel breaks along the road.  

Air operations completed some bucket work yesterday, but building winds made this effort difficult by afternoon.  

Weather & Fuel Conditions: Today, expect rainy conditions with gusty winds over much of the fire. Southwest winds will increase to 12-18 mph with gusts of 30-35 mph. Rainfall accumulations will be higher west of the crest and lower inland.  

Closures and Evacuations: Evacuation Notices remain in place for the Lionshead Fire. Level 3 “Go!” evacuation notices are still in place for the communities of Detroit, Idanha, New Idanha, and Breitenbush. A map of evacuations in Marion County is available here. There are no longer any evacuation notices for the Sidwalter/Miller flats area. 

Roads and trails near the fire remain closed for public safety. The 12 Road will remain closed to the public for the near future. This includes roads and trails on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Spring lands adjacent to the fire and a 40-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail between Santiam Pass and Olallie Lake. The Willamette National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, and State lands around the fire remain closed to the public. Go to InciWeb.gov for more information about closures in the area. Deschutes NF Alerts Willamette NF Alerts Mt. Hood NF Alerts

Temporary Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Lionshead Fire and surrounding fires. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Whenever a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area. For more information, visit knowbeforeyoufly.org

Lionshead Fire 

Rocky Mountain Incident Team 1

Public Information Phone: 971-277-5075

Media Inquiries: 541-904-0542

Incident E-mail: [email protected] 

Incident Website: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7049 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHSR6_yJRQkHyGjvvqX99gw

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LionsheadFire 

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