Fire Update: 23 Sept 2020

Warm Springs, OR September 23, 2020

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Lionshead Fire Update Wednesday, September 23, 2020 – 10 a.m. 


Current Situation:

Approximately 400 additional firefighters and support personnel arrived at the incident yesterday. The fire gained some acreage, but containment increased to 15%. Low fire behavior is expected today even with stronger winds leading up to a predicted rain event. Southwest winds will build over the ridges prior to rain in early evening.


The increased winds pose a hazard along road corridors and the fireline due to the possibility of falling fire-weakened trees. Hazard tree removal work along roads and constructed fireline will be affected by increasing winds. Wind can also reveal smokes that need more attention along the fire edge.


Air quality has improved. Good to excellent overnight humidity recovery has also been helpful. Shorter days will slow fire spread as the burning period narrows. Predicted rain (as much as 1 inch in some areas) will have a positive impact on firefighting efforts.


Firefighting Efforts by Division: (Refer to the map for division breakdown.)

More progress was made in Division A yesterday connecting existing roads with dozer and hand line. Previous burnouts look secure. Progress was made in the Badger Butte area, although several days of hard work will be required to close a gap in constructed line. The east side of Division A is in patrol status with mop up operations still identifying some heat.


In Division E, patrol and chipping operations continue. In coordination with resource advisors, firefighters are monitoring slow fire progression through two unburned pockets inside the main fire’s perimeter.  Allowing the consumption of unburned pockets of fuel under favorable weather conditions helps strengthen containment lines while improving forest sustainability.


Firefighters also continued back hauling hose and equipment from the east side of the fire near containment lines in preparation for fire recovery operations.


Divisions G, I, K, and N have been quiet for several days and continue to be secure. Firefighters are monitoring and patrolling this area. Most of the road system has been prepped and is now being reinforced as a control line.


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 area. There was some fire activity on an unburned island of fuel inside the fire perimeter near the lava flow. All line on the 12 Road is complete just short of 20 Road. Firefighters have significant work to do removing logs and slash after this operation.


Much of the perimeter in Division S has checked along the road system. There hasn’t been any significant fire movement or spread in this division for several days.


The fire in Division T has mostly been checked on existing roads. Crew work is primarily patrol and cold trailing along the fire’s edge. Cold trailing is a method of controlling a partly dead fire edge by carefully inspecting and feeling with the hands to detect and extinguish any remaining heat. Firefighters are looking for any spread across roadways. Known spot fires in this division have been contained. This work will continue today. More crews are moving into the area.


The structure group continues their work in Detroit, Idanha, New Idanha, and Breitenbush securing line and mopping up.


Crews are working in Division W, Y and Z to secure spot fires found near Road 46. The 46 Road remains closed due to the large amount of heavy equipment required for this effort. This road may remain closed until snags and hazards are cleared and the road is deemed safe for public travel.


The Contingency Groups are improving indirect fireline. The south contingency group is working along County Road 12 to County Road 20, improving fuel breaks along the road. 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.


Air operations flew 14 hours yesterday and will continue similar efforts today as weather and flight conditions allow.


Weather & Fuel Conditions: Today, expect mostly cloudy conditions with increasing winds as a low-pressure system and cold front move inland. Southwest winds will increase to 12-18 mph with gusts of 30-35 mph. Rain is expected to develop over the fire late Wednesday afternoon and increase through the night. Rainfall accumulations will be higher west of the crest and lower inland.


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, New 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. The 12 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 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: 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


Reminder: Schools have reopened. Be aware of increased traffic.


Lionshead Fire Statistics: 

Size: 203,685 acres

Containment: 15%

Total Personnel: 1,425

Location: 14 miles west of Warm Springs

Reported: 8/16/20, approximately 8:44 p.m.

Cause: Lightning


For More Information: 

Information Office: 971-277-5075, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Media Inquiries: 541-904-0542



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Lionshead Fire

Rocky Mountain Incident Team 1

Public Information Phone: 971-277-5075

Media Inquiries: 541-904-0542

Incident E-mail:

Incident Website: