Whitewater Fire Update: Mt Jefferson Wilderness

Release Date: Aug 7, 2017   Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

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


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

Yesterday’s Fire Growth: The fire grew just under 100 acres last night further into the wilderness on the northeast and southeast flanks of the fire.

Location: 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.

Today’s Operations: Fire managers have assigned crews to continue preparing roads as fuel breaks and connect lines by hand through those areas that are too steep for mechanized equipment to access.  Firefighters are building containment lines primarily along existing roadways and utilizing natural barriers. Aviation resources on the fire include two Chinook helicopters from the Oregon National Guard which are being used to check the fire’s spread on the more active eastern and northern flanks.

Portions of Detroit Lake may be closed from 10:00am to 6:00pm to accommodate scooper planes.  The boating public should avoid the following areas: Detroit Dam to Mongold, and south of the island. The rest of the lake remains open.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Incident meteorologists forecast continued warm and dry weather conditions with a potential for thunderstorms in the week ahead.  Thunderstorms are expected to be relatively dry, bringing strong, shifting winds that increase the likelihood of extreme fire behavior. 

Smoke Forecast: Today’s smoke conditions are expected to be similar to yesterday. During the evening, smoke will travel southeast of the fire towards Sisters.  Check the Oregon Smoke Blog for more updates and other useful information:  http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/

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. The area closure also includes a portion of the Willamette National Forest west of the wilderness boundary and east of the town of Detroit. 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:

  • 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 (approximately 30 miles)

For a closure order and map in Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5420/37544/