Whitewater Fire Update: Mt Jefferson Wilderness

Release Date: Aug 12, 2017   Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

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


A link that takes you to a map of the Whitewater Fire Closure area
  • Approximate Size: 5,920 acres
  • Containment:  0%
  • Incident Commander: Eric Knerr
  • Resources on Fire
    • Crews: 18
    • Helicopters: 9
    • Masticators: 7
    • Engines: 19
    • Water Tenders: 11
    • Dozers: 3
    • Personnel: 665

Yesterday’s Operations: Two small lightning-caused fires from Thursday’s storms are located approximately three miles southeast of the Breitenbush Community on Devil’s Ridge.  They are in steep terrain and are being kept in check with aircraft. On the Whitewater Fire, crews continue to work and secure the prior day’s burnout operations. Aircraft also assisted with initial attack on six new small lightning-caused fires in the Willamette National Forest and Oregon Department of Forestry North Cascade District.

Today’s Operations: Today’s operations will focus on keeping the fires on Devils Ridge in check, assisting with initial attack on the Forest, and further securing the fire lines on the southwest flank of the Whitewater Fire.  On the northern portion of the fire, crews will continue to prep lines.

Weather and Fire Behavior: The fire meteorologist predicts a cooler day with high clouds. Temperatures will be in the upper 70s to lower 80s at the fire line.  Firefighters expect low to moderate fire behavior today, due to cooler temperatures, higher humidity and winds out of the northwest.  Areas of ample fuels may sustain moderate fire behavior, especially under the canopy. 

Smoke Forecast: Widespread smoke from multiple fires in the northwest is impacting the Central Oregon area. Smoke from the Whitewater Fire may affect the communities of Sisters, and to a lesser degree Bend.  Check the Oregon Smoke Blog for more updates and other useful information:  http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/

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 Hoodoo Ski Resort, is closed to non-fire traffic.

Fire Prevention: There are currently 15 large, uncontained fires burning in the northwest. Any new human caused fires will take valuable resources away from these efforts. Please be careful and follow your local restrictions.

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 of the trail is closed.

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5420/37544/