Incident management teams on Tuesday were working to contain the nearly 300-acre Petes Lake Fire in the Deschutes National Forest. The fire, which as of Tuesday morning was 0% contained, is burning on the border of Willamette National Forest, in the McKenzie River Ranger District, and Deschutes National Forest in the Mink Lake Basin area, approximately 5 miles west of Elk Lake.
The Petes Lake Fire started on Friday evening, according to a press release. As a result of poor visibility, firefighters were unable to arrive on the scene until Saturday morning and aviation support is currently limited. Central Oregon Fire Management Service offered on-the-ground resources and aerial support, providing supplies and firefighters. As of Tuesday, visibility, as well as inclement weather, had delayed efforts to accurately map the fire.
A local type 3 incident management team was working on containing the fire on Tuesday. On Wednesday, a type 2 team took over. To help slow ground fire, firefighters were executing work on the shaded fuel breaks along the West side of Cascade Lakes Highway, thinning dense trees to reduce the fire's intensity.
Evacuation orders issued by the Deschutes County Sheriff on Sunday are still in place. A level three evacuation order was issued for areas west of the Cascade Lakes Highway, including the area of Lucky Lake Trailhead and Mirror Lake Trail. Level 1 evacuation orders were issued for areas near Elk, Hosmer, Lava and Little Lava Lakes. People driving through the area can expect to see increased fire staff and resources, causing increased traffic and recreation site closures.