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Small forest fire breaks out north of Detroit


A small new forest fire was burning Sunday on the Willamette National Forest, about five miles north of Detroit, and a back-burn operation planned in coming days could put up smoke visible from the resort community and to motorists on state Highway 22.

The six-acre Byars fire broke out on the Detroit Ranger District, burning in timber on the north-facing slopes between Deadhorse Mountain and Byars Peak, officials said.

Three 20-person crews, two helicopters and two engines were staffing the fire, and aerial retardant was Saturday and Sunday.

The fire was spotted by the Coffin Mountain Lookout late Friday evening. The cause is under investigation.

Over the next several days, weather permitting, fire managers anticipate back-burning about 30 acres to contain the fire between some spur roads and rocky scree slopes. Smoke from the burn will likely be visible from the community of Detroit, as well as portions of Highway 22, Elk and Dunlap Lakes and other peaks in the area.

Elk and Dunlap Lakes and Elk Lake Campground remain open. Forest Service roads 4696 and 4697 also remain open, but fire managers request folks avoid the area if possible.

For more information call the Detroit Ranger Station at 503-854-3366 or visit and follow on Facebook,, and Twitter,

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