Red Flag Warning - Oregon Wildfire Update
Wildfire season has reached Central Oregon as we saw with the surreal wind and smoke filled skies on Monday that fueled the massive growth of the Lionshead fire. The lightning caused fire started on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation approximately 14 miles west of the Warm Springs community and has spread to the Willamette National Forest and beyond. The Lionshead Fire is being managed with a full suppression strategy. This fire has consumed over 90,000 acres of forest and much of that has been in just the last couple of days. For perspective the Green Ridge fire that has been burning for almost a month has burned just over 4,000 acres.
The image above of the US Fire Incident map is clustered with many fires in all western states. Links to this and the Central Oregon Fire Information website are available on all of the BYB weather location pages. PLEASE be aware of the current fire danger and help reduce any chance of human caused fires.
Below is the report from the incident command center on the Lionshead fire as of Sept 8, 2020.
The Red Flag Warning continues throughout today for gusty winds and low relative humidity. East winds are expected to be strongest early in the day, then gradually subside. Temperatures will be cooler today, reaching the 70s in the lowlands and the 60s at higher elevations. The winds are expected to continue to push the fire west further onto the Willamette National Forest. The fire may also be pushed to the southwest, past the south flank of Mt. Jefferson.
Last 24 hours: The Lionshead Fire was actively burning early Monday. Sunday’s spot fires on the northwest flank burned into the main fire. As a strong cold front approached and passed through the vicinity, winds became gusty and shifted to coming from the east. The winds, smoke, and blowing dust grounded aircraft mid-day. The winds aligned with terrain and pushed the northwest edge of the fire through a band of heavier fuels north of Mt. Jefferson, south of Shitike Creek. The fire ran 4 miles in less than 2 hours, crossing onto the Willamette National Forest in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness. The fire continued to burn actively through the night, spreading west to near Idanha and the community of Breitenbush.
More work was completed on the J-100, J-173, P-400, and P-500 roads, preparing them as potential control lines. Work was nearly finished on the roads between the south end of the fire and the Warm Springs Reservation boundary.
Due to the strong east winds and continued low humidity, the fire is expected to spread further to the west. Firefighters will be shifted as needed to areas where they can safely and effectively work to slow the fire’s spread. Some fire personnel will continue to prepare indirect control lines to the south and north of the fire. Aircraft operations may be restricted by the wind and poor visibility.
Evacuations: Orders are being issued for evacuations as conditions change. Please monitor the local area sheriff’s department websites and Facebook pages for updates. (Deschutes, Jefferson, Wasco, Linn, and Marion counties)
Closures: For public and firefighter safety, roads and trails on the southwest portion of the Warm Springs Reservation, Willamette and Deschutes National Forests near the fires are closed to the public. Forty miles of the Pacific Crest Trail are closed between Santiam Pass and Olallie Lake. Much of the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness and some nearby lands and recreation sites are closed. See Willamette, Deschutes, and Mt. Hood N.F. websites for trail, road and area closures. Deschutes NF Alerts Willamette NF Alerts Mt. Hood NF Alerts
A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the P-515 and Lionshead Fires. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone.
FOR ADDITIONAL FIRE INFORMATION: