Whitewater Fire Update: New Area Closure in Effect

Release Date: Aug 6, 2017   Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

Contact(s): Fire Information: 503-867-7707


A map showing Whitewater Fire Road and Trail Closures in Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

The Whitewater Fire is burning in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness and adjacent forest lands, approximately 13 miles east of Detroit, Oregon. The Incident Command Post, located at the Hoodoo Ski Resort, is closed to non-fire traffic.

Yesterday’s Fire Growth: In the last three days, the fire grew nominally. In the northern portion, the fire advanced into the headwaters of the South Fork of Breitenbush River, and remains within the wilderness. On the west flank, the fire’s perimeter lies approximately 3-4 miles east of Hwy 22. To the south, the fire is burning on Woodpecker Ridge and has not advanced significantly.

Today’s Operations: Firefighters are making good progress on the fire’s west flank—preparing indirect fire lines and using seven helicopters and two scooper planes to check the fire’s spread. On the northwest flank, crews are clearing roads and building hand lines. Helicopters have been slowing the fire’s advance with water in the Brietenbush drainage and Pamelia Lake area. Portions of Detroit Lake will be closed from 10:00am to 6:00pm to accommodate scooper planes. Detroit Dam to Mongold, and south of the island is closed. The boating public should avoid those areas. From Mongold to the upper arm, and up to Hoover remain open. 

Weather and Fire Behavior: Forecasters expect winds from east in the morning, switching to a westerly flow in the afternoon. If the inversion and smoke lift, active fire behavior is likely with rapid heat build-up and highs on the fire in the low 90’s. Smoke may settle in the valleys tonight.

Area Closure: To protect public and firefighters safety, the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests have closed all trail access points into Jefferson Park inside the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, including a 28-mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail. This area closure includes previously closed trails and roads on the Willamette National Forest, as well as a portion of the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, on the Deschutes National Forest. The area closure is located east of the town of Detroit, and includes a large portion of the Mt Jefferson Wilderness and a portion of the Willamette NF, west of the wilderness boundary. Individuals who have private lands within the closure, or leased lands, will be allowed to enter as long as it is safe to do so. For specific land closures, see the area closure order and map.  

The following trailheads are now closed (see map):

Willamette National Forest: Bingham Ridge, Minto Mountain,  Pamelia Lake, Woodpecker Ridge, Whitewater Creek, Cheat Creek, Triangulation Peak, Leone Lake, South Breitenbush and Crown Lake.

Deschutes National Forest: Bear Valley/Rockpile Lake, Cabot Lake, Jefferson Lake and Brush Creek.

Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Hikers: For a closure order and map in Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5420/37544/