Petes Lake Fire nearly 500 acres; Cooler temps, rain, gusty winds predicted

Petes Lake Fire 8-30-23

The Petes Lake Fire grew to 487 acres Thursday morning. Fire managers say cooler temperatures and a chance of rain is on the way for the next couple of days, but so are gusty winds.

The fire, about five miles west of Elk Lake, is zero percent contained.

The Deschutes National Forest said Tuesday that firefighters have started working on the shaded fuel break for the Petes Lake Fire on the west side of the Cascade Lakes Highway between Lava Lake and Devil’s Lake. Shaded fuel breaks are where firefighters thin the trees to reduce fire intensity while also maintaining shade to slow ground fire. Several were put in place along the Cascade Lakes Highway after last year’s Cedar Creek Fire.

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Fire managers say multiple weather systems will bring slight chance of rain showers Wednesday and higher chances of a wetting rain Thursday into Friday. Daytime humidities are forecast to drop Wednesday before rising again Thursday. There is a cooling trend over the fire area for the next 24-48 hours. Sustained winds are expected to be under 10 mph with gusts up to 20 mph.

Here is a breakdown of what fire managers expect over the next three days, as of Wednesday morning: 

  • 12 hours: Fire spread is minimal with the decreased temperatures and increased RH’s. The combination of gusty winds and low fuel moistures could produce growth.
  • 24 hours: Colder temps and high RH’s coupled with good RH recoveries overnight will keep fire behavior low to moderate. Gusty winds and low fuel moistures could produce fire growth.

  • 48 hours: Fire behavior will potentially moderate if the predicted rain develops on the Cascade Crest and the exiting of the cold front from the fire area.

  • 72 hours: Fire behavior will potentially moderate if the predicted rain develops on the Cascade Crest.

  • Anticipated after 72 hours: Fire behavior has the potential to moderate to more creeping characteristics with the rain predicted on the Cascade Crest.


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