Jul 19, 2018

Substation Fire: Deschutes River Report

Gorge Fly Shop Angler News: River Report
7/26/18 New Fire Reported #LongHollow Fire 

7/26/18 Fire Update
As of today the fire is pretty well handled. The Substation Fire Facebook page is no longer being updated. The fire incident (InciWeb) site hasn't updated in 3 days (all good signs). Thank you Firefighters for all your effort and Sam Sickles (Steelhead Outfitters) for keeping us up to date on the river. Be sure to give him a call to book your next trip and to talk fishing the Deschutes. 

We would love to see everyone's photos of how things look now and as the landscape begins to grow back in the coming months/years.

7/26/18 River Access Update
What we know as of Thursday July 26th, there are no closures on any roads or trails that access the Lower Deschutes, although, there are only 3 Campsites still operable on the Lower Access Road below Sherars Falls, those being: Jones Canyon, Rattle Snake Canyon, and Mack’s Canyon. This information came straight from the Prineville District office of the BLM.

Facebook Video: Substations Facebook Page

7/25/18 Substation Fire Update
At the time of this update, 65 firefighters from multiple departments worked to contain the Substation fire to an incredible 92% containment at 78,425 acres according to InciWeb. The estimated containment date is set for August 3rd, 2018. These numbers are most likely slightly off considering this data was last updated July 22nd. Deschutes River access is open, however, boaters should use caution and may have to pull off in areas that have recently burned if they plan to camp between Macks Canyon and Heritage Landing. Evacuation levels have been reduced for Wasco County for all areas to a Level 1 (Ready, Set Go! Plan). It is increasingly dry in areas of Oregon, be careful where you park. A semi truck tire was able to start a fire off I-84 yesterday, so be aware.

Send us your updates and photos.

Samuel Sickles Reports
Deschutes River, Oregon

Heritage Landing this morning when we came downriver.  The fire is at Moody Rapids

Here’s what I know about the Substation Fire on the Lower Deschutes River. The fire started Tuesday afternoon in The Dalles near hwy 197 and moved quickly to the Deschutes River. By morning the fire had already crossed the river and Morrow and Grass Valley were on level two evacuation (now level 3). I was on the river the last two days, today we left early to make sure our vehicles would be safe, as the fire was due in the Heritage Landing parking lot within an hour. The river corridor is burnt to the ground, all of the camps to river mile 17 are lost. The camps above RM17 are likely lost as well but I can’t confirm that. The Phoenix toilet at Kloan is lost so are all the camps except the top spot below Free Bridge but the trees are burned badly. The ash is ankle deep. The other Phoenix toilets appear to safe but all the outhouses on the lower 2.5 miles are lost.
Brad.Staples - Historic Water Tower

The water tower has been lost, and I assume Harris Ranch and the outbuildings are lost as well. The riparian zone at the river is still green but very thin. Most of the trees have been burned and are still in place but they will surely die.

The Kloan Phoenix Toilet

By the end of today I expect the northern fire to die due to lack of fuel as it meets the Columbia, the old highway, railroad track I84 and the Columbia. Emergency personnel were on sight at Heritage landing at 10am when I left and Police were closing the road. The Deschutes State Park is evacuated and on a collision course with the fire.The sprinklers were running full blast when I left and I think it has a chance of not burning down but it will be burned all around it.

Photos courtesy of Sam Sickles, Brad Staples and Ryan Buccola.
News Report courtesy of Sam Sickles - SteelheadOutfitters.com

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  1. Thanks for the report and the photos.
    I know fire is part of the ecosystem but it is hard to take any solace knowing nature will heal its wounds when you begin reading that investigators are thinking it may have been an arson.

    Be safe out there guys.

  2. The toilets below rattlesnake rapids are up. The Phoenix at Harris/Robertson point is lost, the Phoenix st Lockit has fire damage and is unsafe .


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