Hot and dry conditions have caused the Petes Lake Fire west of Elk Lake to grow significantly in the past couple of days. It’s also producing a significant smoke column that many in Central Oregon may be able to see.
The U.S. Forest Service says the fire has gone from about 330 acres to 487 acres as of Friday morning. More growth is anticipated due to moderate fire behavior.
Despite that, the Forest Service says no changes are expected to the current fire closures in the area. The following trails in the Deschutes National Forest are closed:
- Horse Lake – #2
- Island Meadow – #3
- Senoj Lake – #14.1
- Six Lakes – #14
- Snowshoe Lake – #33
- Winopee Lake – #16 (partially closed)
The Forest Service said earlier this week that all resorts and recreation areas east of the Cascade Lakes Highway are still open.
Firefighters are building shaded fuel breaks. That’s where they thin the trees to reduce fire intensity while also maintaining shade to slow ground fire.
The Petes Lake Fire was first reported on August 25 after lightning moved through the area.
The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for Saturday for dry and unstable conditions for fire weather for most of Crook, Jefferson and eastern Deschutes counties.