Warm Springs, OR — September 21, 2020
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Lionshead Fire Update
Monday, September 21, 2020 – 10 a.m.
Firefighters Continue to Take Advantage of Cooler Weather
Current Situation: The weather continues to stabilize with moderate temperatures and slightly lower humidities. Patchy clouds and fog are expected over parts of the fire this morning. As light fuels dry out over the next couple of days, activity in fine fuels may increase. More smoke may be expected, particularly as green islands within the perimeter burn out.
Operations worked with resource advisors to identify timber management plans and cultural values in proximity to fire management operations. Working with tribal resource advisors afforded the opportunity to address agency concerns and ensure clear communications between fire managers and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
Some Canadian crews and overhead arrived on the fire on Sunday. This international assistance comes at a time of unprecedented resource demands.
A Virtual Fire Information Public Meeting is being planned for Wednesday, September 23, 2020. More information will follow.
Firefighting Efforts by Division: (Refer to the map for division breakdown.)
Good progress was made Sunday on Division A, the northeastern portion of the fire. Crews worked directly on the fire’s edge towards Badger Butte, reassessing containment options and conducting a small burnout operation along an existing road system. Crews were able to build sections of line and plan for filling in gaps in the line moving forward. Green islands inside the fire perimeter in Division A will produce smoke as fuels are consumed.
The eastern fire edge in Divisions A and E is secure, but crews will continue to mop up and patrol for hotspots. Crews conducted direct line work to contain the fire spread to the north. Most of the east side of the fire on the Warm Springs Reservation is contained. Division E is in patrol and mop up status with chipping work beginning today along the road system.
The east side of the fire in Divisions G, I, K, and N has been quiet for several days and continues to be secure. Firefighters will continue to monitor and patrol this area.
On the southeast perimeter, working west from the Division N/R break (north of Jefferson Lake), the fireline has been secured west to the lava rock in Division R. No crews have been placed on the fire edge in this division or in the eastern portion of Division S due to safety concerns and low potential for fire spread. Fire managers are monitoring this area with aircraft.
In Division S, within the wilderness, the fire has not moved in several days and currently does not pose a concern. On the west side of Division S, a combination of hand and dozer line is being constructed using a historic burn scar as an anchor point and tying into Highway 22. Line construction continues west into Division T as terrain allows. Efforts moving towards Division W become more difficult as terrain becomes steeper.
In Division T, the areas of Idanha and New Idanha and private lands to the south of the fire are looking good. In many places the fire has checked itself as it burns up against road systems. Structure protection efforts continue. Utility companies are starting to repair infrastructure in the Detroit area. One focus today will be continued work on a large spot fire near Stahlman Point and the Cove Creek Campground.
On the northwest flank of the fire in Division W, fire managers are developing suppression plans. There are currently no crews assigned to the division due to higher priorities elsewhere.
Continuing east to Division Y, in the finger of fire to the north, firefighters focused on containing a spot fire and an area where the fire crossed Highway 46.
In Division Z, an indirect line is being prepped and improved. The 46 Road remains closed due to the large amount of heavy equipment required for this effort. This road will remain closed until snag hazards are cleared and the road is deemed safe for public travel.
Two contingency groups are building indirect fireline. These lines will only be used in the event that fire activity increases, and firefighters are not able to engage the fire directly. The south contingency group is working along County Road 12 to County Road 20, creating fuel breaks along the road. Expect heavy equipment traffic in this area. The north contingency group is working in close coordination with Riverside Fire managers to identify opportunities to connect existing roads that both fires could use in the event these indirect lines are needed.
Thanks to improved visibility, firefighters were able fly sections of the fire, putting in over 14 hours of flight time on Sunday. Heavy helicopters did water bucket work. Additional helispots were identified. Critically needed radio repeaters were installed Sunday.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: Mild conditions are expected to continue for the next couple of days with little change to temperatures, humidity, and winds. There will be an increasing chance of rain on Wednesday and Thursday.
Closures and Evacuations: Evacuation Notices remain in place for the Lionshead Fire. Level 3 “Go!” evacuation notices are still in place for the communities of Detroit, Idanha, and Breitenbush. There are no longer any evacuation notices for the Sidwalter/Miller flats area.
Roads and trails near the fire remain closed for public safety. This includes roads and trails on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Spring lands adjacent to the fire and a 40-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail between Santiam Pass and Olallie Lake. Forest closures are in place for Deschutes, Mt. Hood and Willamette National Forests.
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.
Reminder: Schools re-open on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. Traffic safety is a priority.
Lionshead Fire Statistics:
Size: 199,022 acres
Total Personnel: 1,122
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]
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHSR6_yJRQkHyGjvvqX99gw
Rocky Mountain Incident Team 1
Public Information Phone: 971-277-5075
Media Inquiries: 541-904-0542
Incident E-mail: [email protected]
Incident Website: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7049