News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Lionshead Fire shuts down Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

As firefighters gained 100 percent containment on the Green Ridge Fire just north of Sisters, the Lionshead Fire blew up.

Fueled by hot temperatures, low-humidity, and gusty winds, the fire on the Warm Springs Reservation to the northwest grew last week until it hit 18,615 acres by Monday. Over the Labor Day weekend, the smoke from Lionshead and dozens of fires in California created a thick haze across Sisters Country. Air quality in Sisters was deemed “unhealthy” on Sunday night.

Camp Sherman residents were placed on Level 1 evacuation notice, urging them to be aware of potential danger from the big blaze 10 or 12 miles to the north.

Given the fire’s rapid growth and a forecast that called for unusual and heavy winds through the first part of the week, authorities essentially shut down the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, closing trails and campgrounds in and beyond the Metolius Basin — including a section of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Willamette National Forest officials were concerned that the fire could spill over the Cascade Crest and enacted an extensive closure in the Mt.?Jefferson Wilderness on the west side.

On Monday, September 7, Sisters-Camp Sherman and Cloverdale fire districts announced a ban on all recreational burning effective immediately. The ban included all areas within the fire districts.

Recreational fires include those used for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes. Barbecues and propane fires are not included in the ban.

Residents are strongly encouraged to contact their local fire protection agencies for additional burning information and regulations. Sisters-Camp Sherman and Cloverdale fire departments will continue to monitor weather and fuel moisture conditions in their districts and may make modifications on a day-to-day basis. Call your fire agency for information. In Sisters, call 541-549-0771. In the Cloverdale district call 541-548-4815 (burning information) or 541-389-2345 (office). At Black Butte Ranch call 541-595-2288.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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