Marion County, Ore – The warmer and drier weather this week could increase fire activity on Oregon’s largest wildfire. The Lionshead fire is now over a third contained and has burned over 204,000 acres. Crews are also watching for windy conditions, that could blow over trees already damaged from the fire.
Video: Rich Zimmerlee, Operations for Rocky Mountain Type 1 Team, giving a Daily Operational Briefing for the #LionsheadFire on Sept 27, 2020
Firefighters Anticipate Warming & Drying Weather
Special Notes: This will be the last update prepared by the Rocky Mountain Area Type 1 Incident Management Team. Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 13 will assume command of the fire this evening at 8 p.m.
Work on the Lionshead fire is proceeding well. Overnight, there was good moisture recovery, but the cool wet weather of the past few days is expected to be replaced today by a warming and drying trend. Shifting winds are also possible. This could result in a slight increase in fire behavior. Winds will likely be out of the east. The changing wind direction could test control lines in some new places. With the drying trend, there could be some fire movement, but a more likely scenario is for most fire activity to continue primarily in green, interior islands.
The high winds yesterday tested some areas of the fire that had been inactive, but the control lines passed that test. There was interior burning, but no fire spread. The acreage remained the same as it was on Friday, but containment increased to 34%. The more immediate problem was the need to pull crews and equipment back momentarily in areas where the windy conditions presented a danger due to hazard trees falling.
Firefighting Efforts by Division: (Refer to the map for division breakdown.)
Very little movement has occurred on the north edge of the fire in Division A over the past several days. As weather allows, firefighters will continue their work to secure the fire’s edge and reinforce the contingency line to the north. Firefighters will be watching for deep burning stumps and underground holes during mop up operations.
In Division E, G, K, and south to N, firefighters are working on mopping up hot spots along the fire line and doing more chipping.
The fire is still hung up in the lava fields in Divisions R but is not spreading there. The contingency line on Road 12 is substantially complete, but hazard tree removal continues. In Division S, chipping operations will also continue today. The long straight portion of control line has held for several days and crews continue to work direct on the fire’s edge where possible. Hazard tree removal continues along the 22 Road.
On the southern part of Division T, crews continue work to improve direct handline. Indirect line is also being constructed. Work continues in the Idahana and Detroit areas, with hazard tree work a priority. Additional control line has been added in the Stahlman area. The Structure Group will be working at Stahlman today.
In conjunction with Beachie Creek and Riverside fire managers, Division W remains closely monitored, but is still unstaffed due to difficult, unsafe terrain.
The long narrow finger in Division Y traverses some very steep rugged country. Firefighters are still looking for direct or indirect control opportunities. The spot fire areas at the north end of the finger have been extensively worked, with special emphasis east of the 46 Road. Fuel breaks and other indirect line preparation continues, and considerable heavy equipment will be working on the 46 Road. This road remains closed to the public. Crews continue to search for opportunities to work directly on the fire perimeter, as the terrain allows, throughout these divisions.
There were no flights made on Saturday, due to windy conditions. Expect an increase in flights and bucket work if wind continues to decrease.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: Scattered showers brought a little rain to the fire on Saturday, but today decreasing cloud cover and patchy morning fog could usher in a temperature rise into the 60s. Tonight, expect temperatures to stay relatively warmer, increasing the drying trend. The wind is expected to shift to out of the east. Monday’s outlook is predicated to be warmer with highs in the 70s.
Closures and Evacuations: The evacuation levels around Detroit, Idanha, and the Elkhorn community along North Fork Road have been reduced to a Level 2 – “Be Set” evacuation level. While residents have been able to return to these communities under strict safety conditions, many hazards remain. Due to the remaining hazards in the cities of Detroit and Idanha and lack of basic services, people who are not residents should avoid travel to this area. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office continues to coordinate with partner law enforcement agencies to maintain an enhanced presence in the Detroit and Idanha communities as residents return to the area.
Community members who reside in Linn County may find up to date information at www.LinnSheriff.org. A map of evacuations in Marion County is available here. There are no longer any evacuation notices for the Sidwalter/Miller flats area in Jefferson County.
Roads and trails near the fire remain closed for public safety. The 12 Road and the 46 Road will remain closed to the public for the near future. This includes roads and trails on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Spring lands adjacent to the fire and the Pacific Crest Trail in the Deschutes National Forest. The Willamette National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, and State lands around the fire remain closed to the public. Go to InciWeb.gov for more information about closures in the area. Deschutes NF Alerts Willamette NF Alerts Mt. Hood NF Alerts.
Temporary Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Lionshead Fire and surrounding fires. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Whenever a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area. For more information, visit knowbeforeyoufly.org.
Lionshead Fire Statistics:
Size: 204,340 acres
Total Personnel: 1,436
Location: 14 miles west of Warm Springs
Reported: 8/16/20, approximately 8:44 p.m.
For More Information:
Information Office: 971-277-5075, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Media Inquiries: 541-904-0542
Email: [email protected]