Petes Lake Fire Update | September 1 ,2023

Fire Information: (541) 801-3564
Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident-information/orwif-petes-lake-fire 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PetesLakeFireInfo 

Resources: 179 Total Personnel | 2 HandCrews | 2 Dozers| 4 Helicopters | 9 Engines | 1 Masticator | 1 Water tender 

Central Oregon – The Petes Lake Fire was started by a lightning strike on Friday, August 25, near the border of the McKenzie River Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest and the Bend Fort-Rock Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest in the Mink Lake Basin area of the Three Sisters Wilderness. The footprint of the fire remains on the Willamette National Forest at this time. The fire is burning five miles west of Elk Lake and is 318 acres in size. Fire personnel continue to focus on preparation work along the Cascade Lakes Highway improving shaded fuel breaks and identifying control features along the highway from Lava Lake north to Devils Lake. Fire managers are working together to respond to the Petes Lake Fire and prepare the landscape for future wildfire activity. 

Yesterday: Firefighters employed a diversity of techniques as work continued on the shaded fuel break.  Masticators were used along portions of the Cascade Lakes Highway. This type of equipment provides breaks in heavy fuels that can lower potential fire intensity. Resource advisers assigned to the Petes Lake Fire worked closely with crews identifying hand-cutting methods for use in sensitive areas to minimize suppression impacts to the land. Resource advisors are technical specialists who provide guidance in an emergency response environment during wildfires The structure protection group continued assessments and developing structure protection plans.  

Today: Chipping, brushing, masticating and small tree removal will continue as firefighters improve the shaded fuel break north of Lava Lake up to Devils Lake. Chipping will begin around the Lucky Lake Trailhead. A pilot car and flaggers are now in place to safely direct traffic through the Cascade Lakes Highway work zone. Safety of the public and firefighters is the highest priority on the Petes Lake Fire. 

Weather: Today will be cloudy with intermittent showers, but these showers are not expected to terminate fire behavior. This weather system has the potential to generate thunderstorms and lightning mainly after 12:00 p.m. with mild easterly winds from 5-9 mph.  

Closures: The closure order on the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests for the Petes Lake Fire remains in place and can be found here: fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD1134682. Resorts along the Cascade Lakes Highway remain open.  

Evacuation: Evacuation notices issued Sunday by the Deschutes County Sheriff remain in place: https://www.deschutes.org/sheriff/page/emergency-information.  

Level 3 (Go Now) Evacuation notice is issued for all areas west of the Cascade Lakes Hwy from the Lucky Lake Trailhead north to the Mirror Lake Trail.   

Level 1 (Be Ready) Pre-Evacuation notice is issued for areas around Elk Lake down to Little Lava Lake. This means “Be Ready” for potential evacuation. Be aware of danger in the area.   

Level 2 – (Be Set) to evacuate at a moment’s notice. (There are no level 2 evacuations currently.)  

Safety: The public is asked to use caution and follow all signage when driving through areas where firefighters are implementing critical firefighting suppression work. Despite the cooler weather conditions, fire danger remains high. The public can help prevent new wildfires by observing current public fire use restrictions and avoiding other common ignition causes. 

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