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Whitewater Fire

Unit Information

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

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Willamette Fire Update - September 2

Whitewater Fire Wildfire
News – 9/2/2017

Fire Weather Today Similar to Large Growth Days on the Whitewater Fire in Early August

Expect to see large smoke columns today. A Red Flag Warning is in effect Saturday through Monday due to dry conditions and near record temperatures. Today’s fire weather is similar to the large growth days the Whitewater Fire experienced in early August.

Fires continue to produce smoke and haze impacting Breitenbush, Detroit, Oakridge, and McKenzie Bridge. Smoke is expected to hang in canyons throughout the day. Light southwest transport winds may bring smoke from other fires to the western Cascades region.

There will be a Horse Creek Complex and Rebel Fire community meeting Sunday, September 3, at 7pm at the Upper McKenzie Community Center, 54745 McKenzie River Drive, Blue River, Oregon.

If you fly, we can’t. Every time a drone is spotted anywhere within the Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) area, all aircraft must land until we can be sure the drone is clear of this area. Visit for more information.

Do Your Part. Don’t Let a Wildfire Start. Avoid parking over tall, dry grass. The hot underside of your vehicle can spark a wildfire.

Approximately 1,016 personnel are assigned to the following fires. Resources include hand crews, helicopters, engines, dozers, water tenders, masticators, feller-bunchers, and chippers under the management of Bea Day’s Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team.

DETROIT RANGER DISTRICT – see Whitewater Fire on InciWeb for updates on the following fires

Firefighters continue to take suppression action on the SCORPION FIRE (183 ac)north of the Forest Service Road FSR 46 (Breitenbush Road) and scout opportunities to limit the fire’s spread to the north where it is burning in steep, inaccessible forest lands and heavy fuels. Firefighters continue to scout opportunities for both direct and indirect strategies. FSR 46 is currently open, but motorists may encounter delays.

Limited growth to the north is anticipated on the WHITEWATER FIRE (10,445 ac). The LITTLE DEVIL FIRE (599 ac) is moving gradually to the north and south. The FRENCH FIRE (2 ac)remains inactive.

Due to the Scorpion and Little Devil Fires, the Breitenbush Hot Springs Area remains in Level 1 (Ready) evacuation status.You can monitor and sign up for Marion County Emergency Alerts at or call (503) 588-5108 for more info.

MCKENZIE RIVER RANGER DISTRICT see Potato Hill, Rebel, & Horse Creek Complex on InciWeb for updates on the following fires

Smoke from the POTATO HILL FIRE (165 ac)could impact Highway 20 visibility at night and early morning.Crews, engines, and dozers have made significant progress using direct and indirect tactics to suppress the fire. Please slow down, turn your headlights on, and expect temporary delays and pilot car operations on US20 while firefighters are working in the area. Call 511 or visit for current road conditions.

Fire resources continue to utilize direct and indirect tactics on the REBEL FIRE (6,169 ac),preparing line along FSR 19 (Aufderheide Drive). If conditions are favorable, they may use firing operations as needed to hold the line. Firefighters continue to monitor and patrol the BOX CANYON FIRE (27 ac)and PETE FIRE (51 ac).

The HORSE CREEK COMPLEX (7,067 combined acres) includes the Avenue Fire, burning three miles southeast of McKenzie Bridge, and nearby wilderness fires Olallie Lookout, Separation, and Roney Fires.Firefighters are monitoring the wilderness fires by air and MODIS Thermal Satellite. Resources continue developing plans and constructing contingency lines to protect values at risk.

The SEPARATION FIRE (4,574 ac),as well as several spot fires to the north and east, are expected to be very active and to continue to grow today. Firefighters will be conducting structure assessments in the Foley Springs and Oregon Route 242 areas.

Firefighters on theAVENUE FIRE (447 ac)are conducting assessments in the McKenzie Bridge area, evaluating values at risk. Aerial resources will be utilized as needed. Crews and equipment will be used to construct line to Highway 242.

A Level 1 (Ready) evacuation notice is in effect along Oregon Route 242, specifically Camp Yale, Foley Hot Springs, Camp White Branch and Camp Melakwa. Lane County residents are encouraged to register for Emergency Alerts at Contact the Emergency Manager at (541) 682-6744 for more information.

Firefighters are monitoring the OLALLIE LOOKOUT FIRE (413 ac)and RONEY FIRE (1,635 ac)by air and MODIS Thermal Satellite.

Given complexity of the current wildfire situation, availability of firefighting resources, limited ability to utilize aircraft when smoke impacts visibility, and safety concerns for working in steep and remote terrain, firefighters are focused on protecting values at risk where they can do so safely and effectively.

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