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Whitewater Fire

Unit Information

Willamette National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Springfield, OR 97477

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This incident is no longer being updated.

On Wednesday, September 27, the local Type 3 Team will spend most of the day shadowing with outgoing NW Team 11. The Incident Command Post for the new Type 3 Team will be relocated to the Detroit Lake State Park on Highway 22. The Type 3 Team will continue to focus on suppression repair efforts, preparing the fire areas for the coming winter months. Please remember that although the teams will be transitioning, there will still be crews continuing to work along Highway 22 and on Forest Service Road 46. Please drive safely and watch for fire traffic in and around the communities. Hunters should be aware that firefighters will continue to work in the area of the fires and several areas remain closed to the public.
Closure areas remain in place until further notice and can be found at - Once firefighters complete suppression activities and repair work this fall, some closures will be opened. The following trails and roads will definitely remain closed until spring to allow for hazard tree removal and public safety.

Cheat Creek #3441
Triangulation Peak #3373
Pacific Crest Trail from intersection of Whitewater Trail #3429 to intersection of Hunts Creek #3440
Whitewater #3429
Woodpecker #3442

Whitewater Rd. #2243 beyond the junction with FDR #440
FDR #440 for its entire length from beginning at the intersection with Whitewater Rd. #2243
Woodpecker Rd. #040 beyond the junction with FDR #044 Road closure in the Scorpion Fire area – FDR #812 for its entire length from the beginning at the intersection with FDR #4698

It is important that the public stay informed. Be sure to check for forest closures at:

It is strongly advised the public take basic safety measures by staying clear of the burn area once suppression activities are completed. Many hazards may exist. Trees may have lost stability due to fire damage. Any tree that have been weakened by fire may be a hazard. Winds are normally responsible for toppling weakened trees. The wind patterns in your area may have changed as a result of the loss of adjacent tree cover. Please warn your family and neighbors this winter to keep clear of the burn areas.

Evacuation Levels: Forest Service Road 46 is open to all through traffic. All evacuation levels have been lifted. For additional information, contact the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, (503) 588-5108, or visit the ‘Alerts and Emergency’ tab on

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginSunday July 23rd, 2017 approx. 05:35 PM
LocationMount Jefferson Wilderness, Whitewater, Breitenbush and Woodpecker Creek Drainages
Incident CommanderNathan Rabe-IC Gary Jennings-Deputy IC NW Team 11
Coordinates44.708 latitude, -121.856 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel224
Size14,451 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained53%
Fuels Involved

Closed Timber Litter

Timber (Litter and Understory)

Light Logging Slash

Snags are prevalent throughout the area. Where layers of deep duff exist, mop up will be difficult.

Significant Events


Visible smoke can be seen today especially on exposed ridge tops and in isolated pockets of downed logs and rotten material.


Planned Actions

Claggett, Section Line, Slideout - Monitor.

Scorpion - Patrol.

Little Devil - Repair & equipment backhaul.

Whitewater Fire - Continue repair on USFS lands. Inventory and remove non-essential equipment.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hr- An easterly wind component will rapidly lower RH and decrease fuel moisture. This will cause the fire to slowly increase backing and flanking rate of spread within some very isolated areas.

24 hr- An easterly wind component will rapidly lower RH and decrease fuel moisture. This will cause the fire to slowly increase backing and flanking rate of spread within some very isolated areas.

48 hr- An easterly wind component will rapidly lower RH and decrease fuel moisture. This will cause the fire to slowly increase backing and flanking rate of spread within some very isolated areas.

72 hr- Minimal movement is expected through Tuesday due to increasing showers.


On 9/27/17 at 2000 a Willamette Type 3 Incident Management Team will assume management of the Whitewater and other fires listed below. ICP and base camp will be moved to the Detroit Lake State Park tomorrow and operations of the Type 2 team at HooDoo will be closed down.

Total reported acres in this 209 include: Whitewater-11,493 acres and 64% contained. Little Devil-2162 acres and 17% contained, and Scorpion-695 acres and 16% contained. An observation flight Sunday found no visible smoke in the Slideout - 1/2 acre and Section Line - 0.1 acre fires. The Claggett Fire - 100 acres, did have smoke visible on the west side but the fire is surrounded by lakes, rock and now moist fuels that have kept the fire from growing.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

An easy wind event will peak today and then end on Thursday afternoon.

During the event peak on Wednesday, 20-foot east east winds of 15 mph with gusts near 30 mph are expected on exposed ridgetops. Min RH will fall to near 30%. Poor humidity recovery of less than 50% is expected Wednesday night.

Winds will ease on Thursday, but Thursday will be the warmest and driest day of the week. Temperatures in the 70's or near 80 will be over 10 degrees above normal for late September and Min RH vales will be in the 20's. In addition a thermal pressure trough will pass across the fire, leading Hairnes 5 conditions,meaning a dry and somewhat unstable air mass on Thursday afternoon.

A big change back to cool, humid weather is expected Friday due to the passage of a Pacific cold front. Afternoon weather will actually be getting cooler and more humid following the front and a wetting rainis likely to start on Friday afternoon or evening.