Firefighters respond to wildfires around Central Oregon

Firefighters spent a busy day responding to several new starts caused by lightning storms that passed over the area in the last several days. Four of these new starts were on the Deschutes National Forest and were contained at less than 1/2 acre. One new incident on the Willamette National Forest continues to grow.

Smokejumpers responded to a new wildfire in the Mink Lake Basin area, west of Elk Lake in the Three Sisters Wilderness. The Pete’s Lake Fire grew throughout the day and is now approximately 50 acres. Fire behavior is high, with the fire running, torching and spotting. The fire has moved into rocky terrain on the north and south sides, allowing resources to focus on containing the east and west sides. Aircraft aided the efforts until the air became too smoky to fly. Access and smoke are expected to remain challenges to suppression. The Lane County Sheriff’s Office issued a Level 3 (GO NOW) evacuation notice for hikers in the Mink Lake basin in the Three Sisters Wilderness.

Approximate location of Pete’s Lake Fire

Crews on Incident 717, burning on the east side of Highway 197 south of Maupin, Oregon, continued to make progress and the fire is now 100% contained. Firefighters with the Bureau of Land Management and the Ashwood-Antelope Rangeland Protection Association will continue to mop up hot spots on the interior of the fire. Smoke from this incident may be visible for the next several days.

Fire officials would like to remind visitors to public land to use caution. Although many areas have recently received rain, Central Oregon remains dry. Avoid driving and parking on vegetation, know before you go if campfires area allowed, and always properly dispose of flammable materials. Fire restrictions are still in effect and every human-caused fire takes resources that could be used to suppress the many fires burning throughout the northwest.

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