Whitewater Fire Update: Mt Jefferson Wilderness

Release Date: Aug 8, 2017  

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


Yesterday’s Fire Growth: The Whitewater Fire’s acreage remains unchanged from Monday due to light winds and little torching inside the fire perimeter.

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.

  • Approximate Size: 5,515 acres
  • Containment:  0%
  • Incident Commander: Eric Knerr
  • Resources on Fire
    • Crews: 17
    • Helicopters: 6
    • Masticators: 8
    • Engines: 15
    • Water Tenders: 9
    • Dozers: 11
    • Personnel: 622

Today’s Operations: Crews continue preparing roads as fuel breaks and connecting fire lines by hand through areas that are too steep for mechanized equipment to access. Firefighters are following existing roads and natural firebreaks to make wide, durable fire lines to keep the Whitewater Fire in check if and when it increases in size. Aviation resources on the fire include two Chinook helicopters from the Oregon National Guard that are making water drops on flare-ups along the southern and northern flanks.

A spike camp has been set up 10 miles east of Detroit near Breitenbush Hot Springs. The purpose of the camp is to improve firefighter access to the north side of the Whitewater Fire and cut down on travel time. Seventy firefighters and 7 engines are staged in the spike camp.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Incident meteorologists forecast continued warm, dry and unstable weather conditions. Thunderstorms may develop over the fire area in the afternoon or evening. The thunderstorms, if they occur, are expected to bring little rain but may produce locally strong, erratic winds.

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/