Shaniko Butte Wildfire Forces Closure of Lower Deschutes River
Central Oregon – The Shaniko Butte Fire was very active on Wednesday, growing to approximately 18,000 acres – and the wind and fire never let up through the night. This morning the fire made a run toward the Lower Deschutes River near the small community of Dant, and the west edge of the river.
In addition, the Ward Canyon Fire (#347), which caused the closure of Highway 97 north of Madras yesterday, is now backing down toward the east side of the Deschutes River.
Current and expected fire conditions have forced fire officials to make the decision to close the river to all day and overnight use between Trout Creek (River mile 88.5) and Long Bend (River Mile 57). Fire officials will evaluate this closure on a day-by-day basis and will lift the closure when it is safe.
Rafters can still float from Warm Springs to Trout Creek and can still use Segment 2 from Long Bend to Sandy Beach, as well as Segments 3 & 4 from Buckhollow to Heritage Landing at the mouth of the Columbia River.