Petes Lake Fire remains more than 2,000 acres; sends smoke from wind shift



The Petes Lake Fire burning in the Three Sisters Wilderness, experienced light to moderate growth yesterday. There is no change in acreage today because there was no infrared flight to map the fire last night so the reported acreage will remain 2,013 acres.

With a late afternoon wind shift yesterday, winds from the northwest pushed smoke into Central Oregon in the late afternoon causing some public concern. No communities are at risk from the fire. With forecasted winds from the northwest again today, as well as continued hot and dry weather conditions, the fire is expected to continue to be active and push smoke into Central Oregon.


The U.S. Forest Service said the Petes Lake Fire, which was at about 330 acres just a couple of days ago, has increased to 2,013 acres as of Saturday morning. Hot, dry and windy conditions are being blamed for the increase in the size of the fire burning five miles west of Elk Lake.

Here is more from the USFS release:

Firefighters did bucket drops on the east and north flanks of the fire throughout the day to moderate fire behavior and to keep the fire from getting established in the Horse Creek drainage. Over the weekend winds are predicted to change, pushing the fire back toward the east into areas already burned.  Hot and dry conditions are expected to remain through the weekend, which will likely cause continued growth of the fire and a visible smoke column over the fire.

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The fire was ignited by lightning on August 25, 2023, and had grown minimally. The fire is burning in very hazardous conditions for firefighter safety, therefore the focus has been on using aerial resources to moderate the fire. The fire is burning in designated wilderness and has been reducing hazardous fuels like fire would have done historically in the fire-adapted ecosystem.

A Central Oregon Fire Management Service (COFMS) Type 4 Incident Management Team is in command of the Pete’s Lake Fire. The fire is being closely monitored. A shaded fuel break next to the Cascade Lakes Highway was completed today.

Closures: Fire closures remain in place. Please click on the following link to access information about the closure: Deschutes National Forest – Alerts & Notices (

Evacuations: The Level 3 (Go Now) Evacuation Notice is still 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:   

Safety: The public can help firefighters by obeying trail closures and following all fire restrictions.   


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