Petes Lake Fire Update

Fire info line: 541-316-7711

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 17, 2023

Central Oregon — The Petes Lake Fire burning in the Three Sisters Wilderness, experienced light to moderate growth yesterday. There is no change in acreage today because there was no infrared flight to map the fire last night so the reported acreage will remain 2,013 acres.

A Central Oregon Fire Management Service (COFMS) Type 3 Incident Management Team took over control of the fire at 6 a.m. today.

With a late afternoon wind shift yesterday, winds from the northwest pushed smoke into Central Oregon in the late afternoon causing some public concern. No communities are at risk from the fire. With forecasted winds from the northwest again today, as well as continued hot and dry weather conditions, the fire is expected to continue to be active and push smoke into Central Oregon.

A shaded fuel break along the Cascades Lake Highway has been completed and two-way traffic has reopened between Elk Lake and Lava Lake as of yesterday. However, there may be intermittent traffic delays due to heavy equipment moving along highway.  Please drive with care while fire personnel are along roadways.

The fire was ignited by lightning on August 25, 2023. The fire is burning in very hazardous conditions for firefighter safety, therefore the focus has been on using aerial resources to moderate the fire. The fire is burning in designated wilderness and has been reducing hazardous fuels like fire would have done historically in the fire-adapted ecosystem.

Closures: Fire closures remain in place. Please click on the following link to access information about the closure: Deschutes National Forest – Alerts & Notices (usda.gov)

Evacuations: The Level 3 (Go Now) Evacuation Notice is still in place for all areas west of the Cascade Lakes Highway from the Lucky Lake Trailhead north to the Mirror Lake Trail. This includes the areas around Lucky Lake, Leech Lake, Doris Lake, Blow Lake and Mirror Lakes. Evacuation notices and updates can be found at: www.deschutes.org/emergency.   

Safety: The public can help firefighters by obeying trail closures and following all fire restrictions.   

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