16 Sep 2008, 7:36pm
by admin

Royce Butte Fire

Location: Crescent Lake, Klamath Co. OR

Specific Location: ~Lat 43 33 31, ~Lon 121 52 51

Date of Origin: 09/16/08
Cause: human

Situation as of 09/30/2008 at 6:00 PM
Personnel: not reported
Size: 381 acres
Percent contained: 100%

Costs to Date: not updated

Fire declared controlled today. [There are 3 stages in firefighting: contain, control, and extinguish. Roughly speaking, contain means get a line around it, control means no more flames, extinguish means no more smokes, fire dead out. - Ed]


Situation as of 09/20/2008 at 7:00 PM
Personnel: 250
Size: 381 acres
Percent contained: 100%

Costs to Date: $1,340,513

Transitioned to local Type 3 Team 9/21.


Situation as of 09/19/2008 at 7:00 PM
Personnel: 371
Size: 381 acres
Percent contained: 80%

Costs to Date: $1,042,004

Highway 58 opened to the public, evacuation lifted and changed to level 2.

Minimal fire behavior. Continue mop up, patrol, rehab and remove equipment. Expected transition to local Type 3 Team on 9/21.


Situation as of 09/18/2008 at 7:00 PM
Personnel: 336
Size: 381 acres
Percent contained: 60%

Costs to Date: $699,707

Highway 58 opened to the public, evacuation lifted and changed to level 2.

Oregon State Fire Marshall Red Team demobed yesterday.

Minimal fire behavior, smoldering and creeping in needle litter.


Situation as of 09/17/2008 at 7:00 PM
Personnel: 238
Size: 381 acres
Percent contained: 20%

Costs to Date: $375,000

Highway 58 remains closed and residences and businesses of Crescent Junction remain evacuated. Community meeting last night.

Acres decreased due to more accurate gps mapping of fire perimeter.

Active burning in jackpots of fuel and spot fires. Some smoldering and creeping fire. Good progress made with dozer line on fire. Continue line improvement and construction, locate spot fires, protect structures and improvements.


Situation as of 09/16/2008 at 6:00 PM (posted 7:00 AM 9/17)
Personnel: 155
Size: 1,100 acres
Percent contained: 0%

First official report. Evacuation of Crescent Lake Junction community, E Odell Lodge and all summer homes at Crescent and Odell Lakes; Diamond Peaks subdivision (located E of Crescent Lake Junction).

The American Red Cross Oregon Mountain River Chapter mobilized volunteers and gear to set up a shelter at the Crescent Community Center.

Fire crossed Hwy 58 at the airstrip N of CLJ. Active fire with crown runs and long range spotting, erratic high winds with gusts to 40mph. Intense burning observed.

Central Oregon Type 2 IMT (Rapp) requested and on the way.


Situation as of 09/16/2008 at 10:00 PM
Personnel: 150+
Size: 600+ acres
Percent contained: unknown

No official reports, but one TV station is calling it the Royce Butte Fire. All reports on this fire so far are unofficial. (11 PM report KTVZ Bend [here])


Situation as of 09/016/2008 at 6:00 PM
Personnel: unknown
Size: 100+ acres
Percent contained: unknown

Evacuation of homes, a resort, and campgrounds is underway. Highway 58 is closed E of Willamette Pass. The next route to the S across the Cascades is Highway 138, which is also closed due to the Rattle Fire.

From KVAL Eugene [here]:

The fire grew to more than 100 acres in less than three hours Tuesday afternoon and was moving fast. The fire was started by human activity, but exactly how is not yet known, according to Virginia Gibbons with the Deschutes National Forest.

The fire jumped containment lines as a thunderstorm passed through the area. The wind and unstable air pushed the flames past bulldozers working to contain the fire.

Ten fire trucks are on the ground right now with one light helicopter and four air tankers dumping water and fire retardant on the blaze.

The Oregon Department of Transportation closed Highway 58 from milepost 61 to 73 due to the fire.

The fire jumped Hwy. 58 and is burning on both sides, according to recent reports.

16 Sep 2008, 8:24pm
by Barbara W.

We live in Two Rivers North, MP 82. Am interested in how far the fire is going to come toward us.

16 Sep 2008, 10:21pm
by Mike


The report at 10 PM is that the fire (Royce Butte Fire) is now 600 acres and growing. That makes it about two miles long, half mile wide. The weather report is for south winds, but winds can swirl on the Cascade crest.

My guess (and it is only a guess) is that MP 82 is still more than 10 miles away and the fire is headed west rather than southeast. However, I would remain on alert tonight and pack your valuables just in case.

16 Sep 2008, 11:17pm
by Jeff & Patty

We have a cabin at Crescent Lake. What kind of impact will the fire have on the cabins around the lake?

16 Sep 2008, 11:47pm
by Aaron

How is it looking for diamond peaks right now?

17 Sep 2008, 12:17am
by Mike

J and P — If the fire gets to the cabins at the lake, it will incinerate them unless they are built of concrete.

Aaron — As near as I can tell the fire is headed directly for the Diamond Peaks Wilderness. If it gets there, it will incinerate that forest.

The TV videos I saw showed a crown fire with 150 foot flame lengths. Nothing survives in the path of that kind of fire. The fire has already jumped dozer trails, FS roads, and the highway. The weather is Red Flag with low humidity and strong winds predicted for tomorrow.

I wish I could say that things look under control, but they don’t. All signs point to a major catastrophic fire. Hopefully I will be proved wrong. I am praying for minimal damage.

17 Sep 2008, 7:48am
by Jeff & Patty

Thanks for the reply. Is the fire heading in the direction of the lake? Or is it more towards Odell and/or at the summit of Willamette Pass?

Is there a map online that will clarify where the actual location is?

17 Sep 2008, 8:19am
by Mike

The fire is growing so rapidly that no static map could be correct.

The Google Earth Fire Maps (see righthand sidebar) are updated by satellite every 12 hours. So are the GEOMAC Wildfire Viewer Maps (righthand sidebar again) if you don’t have Google Earth.

I prefer Google Earth, but they do not have the fire perimeter up yet as of 8:00 AM.

InciWeb has not mentioned this fire yet, but I expect them to soon. They may post a map on their map page, but it will be at least 24 hours old.

My impression is that the fire is headed WNW. That could be more towards Odell Lake than Crescent Lake. But I am not there. That’s a guesstimate.

17 Sep 2008, 8:40am
by Ruth

I was wondering how close this is to Oakridge and if it is heading in that direction, from what the news is saying, it looks likes it’s not, but just want to make sure…


17 Sep 2008, 8:54am
by Jeff and Tonya

We have property in Diamond Peaks, does anyone know if the fire has entered Diamond Peaks? What direction is the fire headed? NW or SE from Crescent Junction?

17 Sep 2008, 9:07am
by Shane

We have a cabin at Crescent Meadows- trying to find information, thanks for the map link and will come back here for more info too. Thanks!

17 Sep 2008, 9:08am
by Ruth

last heard, fire was heading southwest

17 Sep 2008, 9:12am
by Jeff & Patty

Thanks Mike. Your information is very helpful. We have one of the first cabins built on crescent lake so we’re really nervous, just like everyone else.

17 Sep 2008, 9:17am
by Mike

Indications are that the fire began about 1 mile NE of Crescent Lake Junction and has traveled westward, crossing Hwy 58 at the airstrip north of town. The fire front is near Cold Creek and approaching the Diamond Peaks Wilderness Area. However, winds could move the fire in a different direction.

Airtankers and heavy helicopters are attacking the fire. The CO2 IMT (Rapp) is engaged, and they are a very good firefighting team (one of the very best, IMHO).

The fire is not near Oakridge. It appears to have bypassed (to the north) the Diamond Peaks subdivision for now.

If anyone has better or more up-to-date info than this, please share it. Thank you.

17 Sep 2008, 9:47am
by trisha

We have a cabin on Odell Lake. Just got off the phone with our realtor who lives in Diamond Peak. Fire is threatening the homes in Diamond Peak. They have been evacuated. He said the folks with homes/cabins on Crescent Lake are now able to go back, fire not a danger there right now. Odell resort at risk.

17 Sep 2008, 10:17am
by teresa

Is there any access to Odell Lake via the West End Access Road? I would like to get my boat out.

17 Sep 2008, 10:20am
by Tom

My family has a cabin on Crescent Lake (been in the family for a while). Can any one confirm the previous post?

17 Sep 2008, 10:56am
by Mike

For those of you affected by this fire, you might wish to read the post at SOS Forests entitled “Hogan Lays An Egg” [here]. It details the lawsuit brought by Earth First! affiliates against the Deschutes NF to squelch a proposed fuels management project in the Five Buttes area. US District Judge Michael R. Hogan ruled against the Deschutes NF and in favor of the Earth First! affiliates because, as he judged, the DNF had not fully evaluated the cumulative effects of reducing the fuels. Now the cumulative effect has come home to roost, or roast, depending on the metaphor of your choice.

17 Sep 2008, 11:03am
by trisha

I hear that milepost 61-71 is closed… not sure where the west access milepost is, but it is right around 61. Maybe try calling the resort that sits at the west end.

17 Sep 2008, 11:06am
by Roger

Resources (bodies) are being brought in from surrounding cities in anticipation of having to protect structures. A useful link for a map of the fire is http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/conus/viewer.htm. The information is not current as I think it is only updated every 12 hours. You will need a bit of bandwidth in your internet connection to use the tool.

17 Sep 2008, 11:17am
by Mike

Yesterday Highway 58 was closed at Odell. But even if you could get that far today, you do not want to go tooling around the lake pulling a boat. That could interfere with firefighters, fire trucks, helicopters dipping water, etc.

The boat is safer in the water than anywhere. Make sure your boat insurance is paid up and otherwise be patient. Maybe say a small prayer. Throw in some supplications on behalf of the homeowners close to the fire just to impress on God that you are a magnanimous gal. It might help.

17 Sep 2008, 11:49am
by Darci

We have property right past the airstrip heading towards Crescent Lake, has the fire jumped the air strip going that direction? If not is the danger of that still a possibility?

17 Sep 2008, 11:54am
by Nichole B.

I just got off the phone with the Crescent Lake ranger district and the Crescent Lake cabins and homes around the area are still evacuated. The fire is 0% contained and they are bringing in Type II IMT to take over the fire control. They are apparently more equipped to handle this type of fire. Does anyone know if they are taking extra measures to protect the homes?

17 Sep 2008, 11:59am
by Mike

Darci and Nichole,

Yes, yes, and yes.

17 Sep 2008, 12:05pm
by Tom

Does anyone know exactly how close the fire is getting to Crescent Lake?

17 Sep 2008, 12:06pm
by Mike

I have a question: is the Diamond Peaks subdivision just west of Highway 58? Is that the area with Timsmuir Dr, Calgary Dr, Cranbrook Ct, Chintimini Dr etc.?

17 Sep 2008, 12:10pm
by Robin

I have a cabin off Royce Mountain Road, across Hwy 58 from Diamond Peak. Can you tell me if the homes in that area are threatened?

17 Sep 2008, 12:14pm
by Ruth

Mike: Diamond Peak Subdivision has streets named : Diamond Peak Cir, Red Cone, Blue Sky, Royce Pine. Those other streets are across Hwy 58 from it.

17 Sep 2008, 12:19pm
by Katie

Diamond Peaks is located east of CL Junction at Mile post 71. The area of Chintimini is heading towards Crescent Lake, west at the junction, past the snow park area and airstrip.

17 Sep 2008, 12:24pm
by Darci

No, Diamond peaks would be just off 58 on the left about Mile post 71 or so. My propery is on Cranbrook Ct off of Chintimini. Do you have information on that specific subdivision?

17 Sep 2008, 12:24pm
by Ruth

Mike: See this link to a map of the area.


Diamond Peak Subdivision is south east of those roads you listed. Timsmuir is next to the landing strip.

17 Sep 2008, 12:31pm
by Mike

Thank you all. As near as I can tell the fire crossed the highway from east to west yesterday evening at the airstrip and passed to the north of the Chintimini subdivision. It then continued west towards the Cold Creek meadows area, about half way between Odell and Crescent Lakes.

I inferred all that from the Google Earth fire map (see righthand sidebar), which as near as I can tell was updated when the MODIS satellite passed over early this morning.

The MODIS satellite orbits twice per day, so that map should be updated again around 7 PM this evening.

17 Sep 2008, 12:46pm
by AK

The ODOT web site says 58 is closed (coming from the East) at MP73, other posts have shown the closure at MP71. Has the Crescent Pines neighborhood been evacuated or is local access still allowed?

17 Sep 2008, 1:45pm
by Pamela Young

We have a house in the Crescent Pines neighborhood. Anyone know if the fire has reached there? I saw the Walker Fire Range Assessment map and it looked like it was very close if not already there….

17 Sep 2008, 2:04pm
by Ruth

Is there any new NEWS on the fire? any Containment? Has it moved? Where is it now?

I most current news I can find is 10:30 am today on Fox Eugene

17 Sep 2008, 2:11pm
by Ruth

just found this on KMTR:

Royce Butte Fire scaled back to 400 acres; Highway 58 still closed near Willamette Pass

Last Update: 1:11 pm

Crescent Lake (KMTR)

17 Sep 2008, 2:11pm
by Elsie

We have a family cabin across from Odell Lake on Highway 58, near the viewpoint. Does anyone know yet whether there are efforts to protect those cabins… or whether any may already have been lost? Thanks.

17 Sep 2008, 2:35pm
by Ruth

Ore. Gov. orders state help for swift-moving fire

By kgw.com Staff, 12:02 PM PDT on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 [here]

BEND, Ore. — Oregon’s governor took action Wednesday to mobilize state help for a fast-moving wildfire.

The human-caused fire forced evacuations near Crescent Lake Junction Tuesday as it jumped in size and crossed a freeway, threatening the nearby town.

NW Interagency coordinators said the fire was estimated at about 600 acres Wednesday morning. Crews closed Highway 58 and evacuated the Odell Lake Resort and some nearby businesses.

Officials said dry fuel conditions and an unstable air pattern caused the fire to burn quickly.

It was threatening at least 200 structures.

The fire jumped Highway 58 near an airstrip.

Wednesday Governor Ted Kulongoski declared the blaze a conflagration, clearing the way for the state fire marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment.

There were no reports of any injuries. Neighbors were asked to go to the community center in the town of Crescent, where a Red Cross shelter was set up.

The fire will keep Highway 58 closed between Willamette Pass and Crescent Lake Junction through at least Wednesday.

Meanwhile, an evacuation order was issued for the Gnarl Ridge fire, including the Cooper Spur Ski area and about 60 homes.

Fire coordinators said that blaze made a big run after midnight because of the unusually warm and dry conditions, growing to about 200 acres. Helicopters and planes were called in, but the planes couldn

17 Sep 2008, 2:36pm
by Mike

I have posted a news report from KTVZ, Bend at W.I.S.E. Forest, Fire, and Wildlife News [here] that was updated at 1:00 PM today.

The fire is now mapped at 400 acres and no homes lost.

17 Sep 2008, 2:36pm
by Roger

I just spoke to a friend at the junction and he said there was a stop sign out front of the store to stop traffic going west. Only SMALL spot fires back in the forest are visible. Fire appears to have moved North East. Bombers are still busy and they also have several spotter planes to better map the fire. Lots of smoke and lots of trucks etc. The catering trucks have arrived so it looks like they are expecting a large contingent of help. Local news at noon reported the fire at 1,100 acres but revised it during the forecast to 400 acres and 10% contained.

17 Sep 2008, 2:39pm
by Greg

This human caused fire started yesterday at about 3PM. Dry fuel conditions along with an unstable air pattern caused this fire to move rapidly with extreme fire behavior. Evacuations took place in the Crescent Lake Junction community, East Odell Lodge and all summer homes at Crescent and Odell Lakes, Diamond Peaks subdivision (located east of Crescent Lake Jct). The fire crossed Highway 58 at airstrip 1/4 mile north.

Status The fire is burning by the Crescent Lake junction with Highway 58. Oregon Department of Transportation has closed the highway near milepost 70. A Type 2 Incident Management Team will take over management of the suppression efforts today. Incident Command Post will be at the LaPine Rodeo grounds.

Best of luck to the fire fighters and all of us.

17 Sep 2008, 2:55pm
by Tracy

We have a cabin down off of Royce Mountain Road where Robin reported her place being, accross Hwy 58 from Diamond Peaks Subdivision. From everything I’ve been reading today trying to stay on top of the fire, it has been reported over and over that as of yet, no structures have been damaged. It was just reported that they met to discuss opening Hwy 58 but decided not to. Maybe tomorrow. It’s very scary and very sad. We hope the fire stays where it is and can safely be put out without anyone losing their homes.

Elsie - I belive from the reports that the fire fighters are doing everything possible to protect all structures even though that isn’t what they are normally supposed to do. They are doing their best to protect all of our memories and structures.

17 Sep 2008, 3:30pm
by steve

We have a cabin at the snow park at crescent lake, near crescent creek, before going over the bridge.

Any info. on the fire in that area greatly appreciated. Cabin has been in the family since 1950.

Our family is praying for the safety of all firefighters, pilots etc. involved in this fire.

17 Sep 2008, 3:35pm
by Mitchell

Our Church would be very interested in knowing the status of the Odell Lake Lodge and campground. We go there every year. Our Prayers go out to all parties involved for protection and safety. Thanks.

17 Sep 2008, 3:53pm
by Ruth

latest news…

Highway 58 won’t re-open today; evacuations remain in effect

By KVAL Web Staff, Sep 17, 2008 at 1:31 PM PDT [here]

CRESCENT LAKE JUNCTION, Ore. — An Oregon highway that crosses the Cascade Mountains won’t re-open today, fire officials decided at 2 p.m.

Pushed by wind and fueled by tinder dry forests, the Royce Butte erupted Tuesday afternoon, jumping containment lines and Oregon Highway 58.

Early estimates of the fire’s size at 1,100 acres have been revised to 400 acres due to more accurate mapping, according to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch.

Officials met at 2 p.m. to determine whether to re-open Hwy. 58 to traffic and decided to keep the road closed.

The fire prompted evacuations of 100 homes and businesses and at least 120 people from Crescent Lake Junction, the Diamond Peaks Subdivision, East Odell Lake Lodge, Crescent Lake Lodge, and all the summer residences at Odell and Crescent lakes.

The fire is human-caused and is under investigation.

Ash and smoke from the Royce Butte fire and the 11,200 acre Rattle Fire east of Roseburg pushed into the southern Willamette Valley. Combined with dust from tilling in farm fields, the air may be unhealthy for people with respiratory problems, according to local air quality monitors.

17 Sep 2008, 4:03pm
by Mike

Rattle Fire postings at W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking are [here].

Middlefork Fire is [here].

Gnarl Ridge Fire is [here].

17 Sep 2008, 4:03pm
by Katie

There is a community meeting tonight:

Media Alert: Royce Butte Fire

17 Sep 2008, 7:23pm
by Elsie

Tracy, thanks for the personal reply to my question. I know the mandate doesn’t include protecting our places… but a place that’s made it through nearly 70 years so far seems worthy of attention and I’ll be grateful for any we’re given by the firefighters and crews up there. I know that sentiment is shared by many, many people. Hope we all make it through ok.

17 Sep 2008, 9:01pm
by Jim

We are in the process of building a new home in Diamond Peaks. We were evacuated yesterday and spent last night in La Pine. We saw the fire first hand at the junction about 10 to 15 minutes prior to the fire jumping across Hwy 58. We have now arrived back in Salem. I just spoke with a neighbor whose in-laws live near Diamond Peaks. Her brother-in-law is a firefighter involved in the fight and she just spoke to him within the past hour.

He told her the following: The fire is not as bad as the media is making it. It was a good day today as there was little wind. There are four strike teams doing dozing, fire retardent, etc. The fire is more to the north and west and no structures have been taken. The fire is at least 1.5 miles from Diamond Peaks. They expect low temps tonight to help in the effort. He didn’t expect that we would be able to get back to the property on Thursday. He also said that one side of the fire is pretty much contained.

17 Sep 2008, 9:16pm
by Marko

Folks-the mandate in order of priorities is to protect people, property and resources-in that order. Due to the threats to property and people, you see the Governor taking direct action to mobilize resources to address the threat. Having worked in this area as a Fire Management Officer for the USDA-Forest Service from 1976 to 1990-I know directly the scope of the hazard that existed in this area-and frankly am surprised this much time passed before a significant threat arose such as this fire appears to be making.

It is a testament to the efforts of folks like those at Walker Range Patrol and the USFS at Crescent Ranger District that the incident is not larger than it is-as this area had the potential to become a several thousand acre fire-destroying every structure and placing many lives at risk-and because that has not happened in the 36 hours since this fire began, you can trust that planning and pre-suppression efforts over the last 20 some years have had the desire impact-protecting these precious resources and lives. When the smoke clears and fire behavior experts look at the fire progression maps-it will be very evident that decisions made by resource managers and fire specialists have resulted in an incident that did not create the tragedy and loss that we have observed in many other settings across the country.

Hang in there-it is quite likely that your cabins and businesses will be preserved, given the expertise that has been mobilized to capitalize on the prior planning and investments made over the years-and all will look back and say-”We need more of this!” Be sure to contact your Congressional and State leaders and tell them how much you appreciate these dedicated public servants-and you expect that additional resources will be directed to address hazards here and elsewhere to assure more positive outcomes when a combination of human neglect and natural conditions come together in a potentially catastrophic event like the Royce Mtn fire. Believe me-it could easily have been much more tragic!

17 Sep 2008, 9:34pm
by Mike

One way to mitigate future threats is to implement active management, fuels reduction, and restoration forestry in the Five Buttes area and other in other landscapes and watersheds in Oregon. Restoration forestry does not prevent or exclude fires, but it reduces fire intensity and makes fires easier to control near residences. To be truly effective, defensible space must extend a lot farther into the watershed than a few feet around homes.

Reducing fire intensity through restoration forestry also provides fire resiliency in special habitats such as old-growth. In fact, ecologically-based restoration forestry is necessary to protect, maintain, and perpetuate old-growth forests. Restoration forestry also restores (hence the name) the historical conditions of open and park-like forests that were typical throughout Oregon for thousands of years, prior to the modern era. Watersheds, airsheds, recreation, scenery, public health and safety, and all other forest values benefit from good stewardship as well.

The virtues of landscape-scale restoration forestry are also something to impress upon your Congressional and State leaders.

17 Sep 2008, 11:51pm
by steve

can any one tell me who i can contact to keep the forest svs. from taking my cabin in crescent lake.
my folks had a 99 year lease day is 85, now they want the cabin moved and the land back.

18 Sep 2008, 8:12am
by pippi

Hey Mike — We are really no place near this fire, but I knew I could find good info here.

Just wanted to pop by and thank you for all your work, especially after reading all your thoughtful and helpful comments to your readers here.

Thank you!

18 Sep 2008, 8:30am
by Misha

I have a cabin in the Diamond Peaks subdivision. My husband is a volunteer with Central Cascades Fire & EMS in Crescent Lake and is one of the fire fighters providing support for the suppression efforts. I was surprised that the fire came so close to town because over the past year or so, the area where the fire was burning on both sides of the highway to the west of town has been thinned dramatically. In fact, just recently the last of the useable timber was chipped and trucked out. All that remained were some large slash piles waiting for wet weather so they could be burned (guess that problem is solved!). He told me last night that there are many-many support teams from all over Central Oregon staged to provide structure protection in the event the fire jumps the lines and threatens homes and cabins. I would like to tell everyone who owns property in the area that everything possible is being done to protect their property.

18 Sep 2008, 9:57am
by Tracy

Thank you Misha. It’s nice to hear that they are doing everything they can. Please thank your husband for all of the work he has done and all of the others as well. We so appreciate them and want them to stay safe.

We have been told for years that the forest service protects the forest and will not protect our structures. It’s nice to find out that information is incorrect. From the comments posted here, it sounds like my family is not the only family that has been told this.

My father was given temporary stewardship of the land behind our cabin and over the past 2 years has worked hard to clear out the land as they have been doing all around us. I’m hoping that all of this work that everyone has done is part of what saved the structures at the Junction. I just couldn’t imagine being up there without some broasted chicken and jojo’s from Manley’s.

18 Sep 2008, 1:11pm
by Misha

Thank you! I will definitely let him and the other volunteers who work at Central Cascades that their efforts are appreciated.

You may be right about the USFS not being concerned with protecting homes/cabins; however, the rural fire protection districts with their mutual aid agreements do protect homes and businesses. Walker Range Fire Patrol, Keno Fire, Chemult Fire, Black Butte Ranch, Sisters, Bend, LaPine and Crook County all have fire apparatus and staff in the area to protect property according to my husband.

Your father is doing the right thing. Klamath County property owners just received packets this summer describing how to comply with Oregon’s SB360 - The Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act of 1997. I have seen many homeowners clearing brush and thinning trees already this summer. Hopefully, this fire will be a wake-up call for those who haven’t yet started to do so or think it doesn’t apply to them. (Property owners have two years to certify that their property complies with the Act, whether or not there is a structure on the property).

18 Sep 2008, 1:41pm
by Tracy

Yay!!! They will re-open the Highway at 2:00 today, but there are speed restrictions in place. No news about whether anyone can go back to their homes. I found the info on http://www.valleyinfo.net

18 Sep 2008, 1:45pm
by Mike

Too bad that public land managers are not required to comply with SB360. In many rural Oregon counties the federal government owns 50, 60, 70 percent or more of the land base. If the big landowner does not do fuels management, there is little that the small landowners can do to protect themselves.

The Royce Butte Fire was a canopy fire. The fire spread by jumping from tree crown to tree crown. Trees need to be spaced apart via thinning to prevent fire propagation through the canopy. Ground fires are easier to deal with. Canopy fires are bad news, kill all the trees, and are darned difficult to stop.

The objective of good fuels management is to reduce the propensity of fires to propagate crown to crown. Simply clearing the fuels at ground level is not enough and does not alleviate the hazard.

18 Sep 2008, 2:48pm
by Darci

has anyone heard if Crescent Junction residents are being allowed back in?

18 Sep 2008, 3:04pm
by Nichole

Over 120 people who evacuated Tuesday due to fire danger can return home after an evacuation order was lifted at 2 p.m. Thursday. Found at


18 Sep 2008, 3:10pm
by Ruth

Hwy. 58 now open through fire; evacuees can now return home

Story Published: Sep 18, 2008 at 12:04 PM PDT
By KVAL Web Staff


CRESCENT LAKE JUNCTION, Ore. — Over 120 people who evacuated Tuesday due to fire danger can return home after an evacuation order was lifted at 2 p.m. Thursday, but they must remain ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice should the fire find new life.

Also, Highway 58 across Oregon’s central Cascade Mountains, closed since a wildfire erupted and jumped the highway Tuesday, also re-opened shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Joe Harwood with ODOT said there is still a lot of firefighting equipment on the road but that conditions have improved to a point where the highway could re-open to traffic.

The speed limit through the fire area has been reduced to 35 mph.

While the road was closed, Highway 126 remains the closest route to central Oregon for travelers in the southern Willamette Valley.

Further south, Highway 138 remains closed east of Glide, Ore., due to the Rattle Fire, a massive blaze burning on more than 11,000 acres. Crews there are working to remain logs, boulders and other debris from the road.

The Rattle Fire was caused by lightning in August. The Royce Butte Fire was started by humans, but authorities do not yet know how or who sparked the blaze.

The Royce Butte fire burned about 381 acres and is 20 percent contained. The Rattle Fire has burned over 14,000 acres and is 30 percent contained.

Smoke from the fires was visible from space, shown in the imagery below from weather satellites.

18 Sep 2008, 7:56pm
by Jeff & Patty

This was our MAIN source to find out information about the fire. Thank you Mike for your help and this website. And thanks to everyone who added much value to the conversation and helping to calm our fears.

18 Sep 2008, 8:13pm
by Mike

Thank you for the kind words. I have tracked over 230 fires this season and it has been a lot of work. Nice to be appreciated.

More big fires in Oregon right now:

- Doubleday Fire ~2,500 and approaching Butte Falls

- Middlefork Fire has blown up to ~25,000 acres, has entered Crater Lake NP, and is only 4 miles from Klamath Valley

- Gnarl Ridge Fire on Mt. Hood was contained a month ago but has flared up again to 2,000 acres and is threatening Cooper Spur

- Rattle Fire is ~14,000 acres burning old-growth near Toketee Falls

- Lake Lenore Fire is ~600 acres and burning old-growth north of Detroit Lake

I wish they all could have been contained quickly like the Royce Butte Fire. Kudos to the CO2’s — the Central Oregon Type 2 IMT (Rapp). Heck of a good firefighting team. One the best.

18 Sep 2008, 11:08pm
by steve


19 Sep 2008, 7:13am
by Nichole

Thank you to Mike the firefighters and everyone who helped with the Royce Butte fire! We all appreciate everything you do and did for us! You are our heros!

19 Sep 2008, 7:21am
by Greg

Great blog area and communications. Thanks to everyone for contributing so we all could know what was and is going on. I’ll be monitoring this page from now on. Take Care, Greg and Karyl

25 Sep 2008, 7:52am
by Ruth

Have you heard anything on the Kitson fire, just 4 miles south of Oakridge on Hills Creek Res?



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