Fire officials wish to remind the public that all roads within the Deschutes National Forest’s Lionshead Fire Area Emergency Closure remain closed to protect the public and ensure safe, unobstructed travel for firefighters as they work. In recent days, firefighters have encountered numerous civilians within the closure area and even within the fire footprint. Unauthorized access puts motorists at risk of accidents or injuries from falling trees or fire burning across a roadway, in addition to accidents involving engines, equipment or other fire-related vehicles.
If a civilian is injured or a motorist is stranded, help may not be readily available, or slower in responding. While all firefighters have some level of first aid training, they may not come across the scene in a timely fashion or be able to bring in an ambulance. This also takes firefighters away from their work fighting the fire and ensuring it does not escape containment lines.
The majority of encounters have been along Hwy. 46 between Detroit and Breitenbush Hot Springs, where numerous trees have fallen across the roadway and others are at risk of falling, and on Forest Roads 2231, 2233 and 4693, where the fire is also still active. Outside the fire perimeter, but within the closure area, there are also risks, including the potential for vehicular accidents and the potential for fire to cross containment lines. Two good examples of this are a spot fire discovered outside the fire line near the finger to the north and another to the north of the P-515 Fire footprint. Firefighters must be able to respond to these developments without delay, and, in a worst-case scenario, motorists could find themselves trapped within an active fire.
Violators of a closure order may be ticketed and subject to a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both. Complete closure orders and maps of closed areas on federal lands associated with the Lionshead Fire can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7049/
Weather: Today’s high is expected to be 70, Winds will be much stronger than in recent days, with gusts up to 23 mph.
Evacuations: Breitenbush Hot Springs remains at Level 3 – “Go!” Detroit, Idanha, Hwy. 22 east of Detroit Dam to milepost 56, and Opal Creek Wilderness/Jawbone Flats are at Level 2 – “Be Set.” Elkhorn, Gates east of Gates Hill Road, and Hwy. 22 from Gates Hill Road east to Detroit Dam are at Level 1 – “Ready.” Residents of Linn County can find up to date information at www.LinnSheriff.org. Closure orders and maps can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7049/
Other information: The section of the Pacific Crest Trail between Santiam Pass and Forest Road 60/Windigo Pass on the Deschutes National Forest is now open. A list of Willamette National Forest recreation areas within the fire zone that remain closed can be found at https://go.usa.gov/xGpeV