Central Oregon DailyPetes Lake Fire: Resorts, recreation sites on Cascade Lakes Highway still open

Petes Lake Fire: Resorts, recreation sites on Cascade Lakes Highway still open

Petes Lake Fire: Resorts, recreation sites on Cascade Lakes Highway still open

Firefighter chainsaw

The Deschutes National Forest is reminding the public that all resorts and receration areas east of the Cascade Lakes Highway are still open as firefighters continue to battle the Petes Lake Fire.

The Forest Service says the fire has burned 329 acres about five miles east of Elk Lake. It has seen very little growth in the past couple of weeks.

RELATED: 25-acre fire burning in Ochoco National Forest

Here the full release by the Forest Service, including updated evacuation information and firefighting efforts.

Bend, Ore., September 13, 2023 — All resorts and recreation sites on the east side of Cascade Lakes Highway remain open to the public during suppression efforts for the Petes Lake Fire burning in the Three Sisters Wilderness.

Air quality has been generally “good” to “moderate” along the highway corridor and while the highway remains open, construction on the shaded fuel break continues from Elk Lake to Lava Lake. A partial lane closure remains in effect through the beginning of next week between north of Elk Lake to Lava Lake. Wait times through the partial closure are minimal (10-20 minutes) and all recreation sites on the east side of the highway are open to the public.

Firefighters continue to make progress on the shaded fuel break, thinning dense brush and smaller diameter trees along roadsides. This work creates potential containment lines in the event that fire behavior increases and reduces risk to firefighters holding and securing those lines and it will also help firefighters if there are future fires in the area.

Wanoga Sno-Park and Sisters Mirror Lake Trailhead are temporarily closed to the public and Point Campground is now closed for the season. Pacific Crest Trail hikers should use the Winopee Lake trail and North Shore trail at the southern boundary of the closure and the Elk Devils trail to the Wickiup Plains trail on the northern boundary of the closure to reroute around the fire closure.

A Level 3 (Go Now) Evacuation Notice remains in place for all areas west of the Cascade Lakes Highway from the Lucky Lake Trailhead north to the Mirror Lake Trail. This includes the areas around Lucky Lake, Leech Lake, Doris Lake, Blow Lake and Mirror Lakes. Evacuation notices and updates can be found at: www.deschutes.org/emergency. A closure order on the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests for the Petes Lake Fire remains in place and information can be found at: fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD1134682

The Petes Lake Fire was started by a lightning strike on Friday, August 25, near the border of the McKenzie River Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest and the Bend Fort-Rock Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest in the Mink Lake Basin area of the Three Sisters Wilderness. The fire has burned 329 acres, five miles west of Elk Lake.

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