REDMOND, Ore. – Firefighters’ energy and morale are high all around the 328-mile perimeter of the Lionshead Fire, fire managers reported Friday.
“We are in a good rhythm,” said John Spencer, operations chief trainee. “There’s a lot of work getting done.”
Friday, a considerable amount of black line was completed around the southwest corner of the fire, with only a section to the north of Marion Forks not yet fully contained. Work will continue today to reinforce those lines and crews expect to finish work in the Stahlman Cabins area in the next day or two. Fallers cleared an additional two miles of Hwy. 46; and assessment began of the damaged powerline system on the Warm Springs reservation. To the northwest, a spot fire was contained in the “finger,” and crews continue to identify and extinguish hot spots.
In the interior, the fire continues to burn actively. To the northeast, previously unburned fuel pockets within the interior are being consumed, with occasional single tree burning, called torching. Although fire progression is slow, there is still a significant amount of fuel available to burn. Needle cast and leaf fall are adding new fuels to burned and unburned areas across the fire footprint as well.
Aviation is still providing water support on the southwest corner and also coordinated a flight to assess Oregon Department of Forestry-protected timberlands.
Winds will be out of the northwest at 10 mph today and 15 mph Sunday, with gusts up to 23 mph. This could stimulate active burning in other areas of the fire, but significantly increases the risk to firefighters in another way — falling trees are a leading cause of death in hazard areas. At times, crews may have to stop work and seek shelter.
Weather: High temperatures will be around 80 today, drop to 70 Sunday, then settle into the mid-70s Monday-Wednesday.Evacuations and Closures: Breitenbush Hot Springs remains at Level 3 – “Go!” Detroit, Idanha, Hwy. 22 east of Detroit Dam to milepost 56, and Opal Creek Wilderness/Jawbone Flats are at Level 2 – “Be Set.” Elkhorn, Gates east of Gates Hill Road, and Hwy. 22 from Gates Hill Road east to Detroit Dam are at Level 1 – “Ready.” Residents of Linn County can find up to date information at www.LinnSheriff.org. Closure orders and maps can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7049/
Other information: Campfire and personal woodcutting are allowed on the Willamette National Forest. Chainsaw use is not allowed from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., and must be followed by a one-hour fire watch after equipment is shutdown. A list of forest recreation areas within the fire zone that remain closed can be found at https://go.usa.gov/xGpeV
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Incident Website: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7049