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Lionshead Fire

Unit Information

Warm Springs Agency
Bureau of Indian Affairs
1233 Veterans Street
Warm Springs, OR 97761

BIA Shield

Incident Contacts

Lionshead Fire Information
Phone: 971-277-5075
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Lionshead Media Inquiries
Phone: 541-904-0542
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Highlighted Activity

09/26/2020 Daily Update for Lionshead Fire, Saturday, September 26
Lionshead Fire Update – Saturday, September 26, 2020 - 10 a.m.  More Winds Test Control LinesSpecial Notice: The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team shared a pre-recorded Public Meeting...
News - 09/26/2020
Map of Fire Perimeter and surrounding areasImage options: [ Full Size ]

The Lionshead fire started in Lionshead Canyon by lightning on August 16, 2020 on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation approximately 14 miles west of the Warm Springs community. A historic windstorm arrived in the area on Monday, September 7th, and spread the fire west onto the National Forest. Incident Commander Dan Dallas’s Rocky Mountain Interagency Incident Management Team #1 [Type 1] assumed command of the fire Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.

The Lionshead Fire has heavily impacted several communities in the Santiam drainage and Breitenbush area including the loss of 264 resident homes in Detroit, OR. There are highly valued natural and cultural resources threatened by the fire. Communication issues were solved with the installation of radio towers in the northern area of the fire. Heavy smoke precludedair operations for multiple days, but the situation improved after rains fell across the fire recently. Weather events and firefighting efforts have increased containment along the eastern side of the fire and evacuation of areas Sidwalter/Miller flats have been lifted. Access to residents in the Detroit and Idanha Communities has begun with the coordination of Oregon Department of Transporation. Structure protection will continue where needed throughout the fire. This week's rain has put a damper on the fire, and firefighters are experiencing reduced fire behavior. Several islands of green forest were consumed within the fire perimeter this week. 

Two contingency groups are constructing for indirect fireline. These lines will 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 creating fuel breaks along the road. The north contingency group is working in close coordination with Riverside Fire management to identify opportunities to connect existing roads that both fires could use in the event these indirect lines are needed.

CLOSURES: For public and firefighter safety, roads and trails near the fires 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 the Deschutes, Mt. Hood and Willamette National Forests. Official closures can be found under "related links" below.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginSunday August 16th, 2020 approx. 10:45 PM
LocationLions Head Canyon
Incident CommanderDan Dallas, Rocky Mountain Team 1 [Type 1]
Incident DescriptionWildfire
Coordinates44.723 latitude, -121.679 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel1,436
Size204,340 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained28%
Estimated Containment DateFriday October 30th, 2020 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Primary fuels include timber with understory and litter. Much of the area has a heavy shrub component concealing heavy down fuels from previous fires. Snags and collapsed stands are common throughout the area. Dog-hair thickets of forest reproduction with low crown base heights with moss are present.

Significant Events

Minimal, creeping smoldering with primary fire activity located in the interior islands burning out. Exterior fire spread is minimal.


Planned Actions

Assess control options on uncontrolled fire edge. Seek opportunities to limit resource damage while maintaining containment. Implement a direct and indirect strategy on the northern flank of Lionshead. Work with ODOT on the reopening of travel corridors, specifically highways 22 and 46. Coordinate with Riverside and Beachie Creek operations on common operating picture for containment of the south side of the Riverside incident and Northern side of the Lionshead incident. Usage of air resources wth bucket work, reconnaissance will continue tomorrow if weather allows. With the reduced evacuation level for Detroit, Idanha, and New Idanha, ODT will be coordinating access into the counties with the use of pilot cars. ODOT is continuing hazard tree mitigation on Highway 22. An in-brief is planned with the incoming IMT.

Projected Incident Activity

High winds with moderate temperature and humidity will offset each other, resulting in limited exterior fire spread today. Rain expected on the fire will limit fire activity. Limited fire spread due to high fuel moisture.


A COVID Advisor is on site to assist in managing COVID mitigation measures. An Air Resource Advisor is assigned to the incident to monitor and report smoke conditions. No UAS over the incident today. The TFR area will be reduced at approximately 2000 today. A pre-recorded public meeting was held today to discuss the fire situation and evacuation level changes. Growth is attributed to more accurate mapping.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

A passing upper level disturbance brought widespread rain to the Lionshead fire today, along with gusty southwest winds a 30-40 mph. Shower activity and winds will taper off through the evening hours. Some fog is possible overnight tonight into early Saturday. Saturday will bring scattered showers, with only light accumulations of rain expected as the upper level feature exists. Winds will be lighter, 10-15 mph, with gusts to 20 mph, but remain out of the southwest. Sunday will see warming and drying conditions, and a wind shift to the east as an upper ridge builds in from the west.