Skip to Content

Cedar Creek Fire grows to nearly 5,000 acres; drones play key role in fight; public meeting tonight

The UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) shown here is an M600 Type 3 Hexacopter, equipped with infrared and video cameras; this small, portable aircraft can find hot spots in the thick smoke, perform scouting missions in the dark, and conduct firing operations by dropping
Cedar Creek Fire/Facebook
The UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) shown here is an M600 Type 3 Hexacopter, equipped with infrared and video cameras; this small, portable aircraft can find hot spots in the thick smoke, perform scouting missions in the dark, and conduct firing operations by dropping "dragon eggs" from the PSD (Plastic Sphere Dispenser)

OAKRIDGE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The nearly 3-week-old Cedar Creek Fire near Waldo Lake continues to grow amid warm, dry conditions, and unmanned aerial systems -- drones -- are playing a variety of roles in monitoring and tackling the blaze.

Here's Wednesday's update:

Cedar Creek Fire

August 17, 2022

Daily Update – 8:00 AM

Acres: 4,836 | Contained: 0% | Total personnel: 747 |Start Date: August 1, 2022| Cause: Lightning | Location: 15 miles E of Oakridge, OR | Fuels: Heavy mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, brush, and grass

*There will be a virtual public meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. on Facebook*

Highlights: Warm and dry conditions increased fire behavior on the southeast corner of the fire yesterday and heavy helicopters were used to cool hot spots to ensure that fire activity remained low in the wilderness.

Small helicopters and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS” also known as “drones”) dropped Plastic Sphere Devices (PSDs) on the southwestern flank to continue backing fire down the ridge into the Cedar Creek drainage on Black Creek Road.

Fixed-wing UAS are being used during the night to provide firefighters with additional reconnaissance on the fire’s movement. These large, fixed-wing UAS can be equipped with Infrared technology to monitor for hot spots and provide real-time fire surveillance when traditional aircraft is unable to fly due to line-of-sight restrictions.

On Sunday night, Cedar Creek Fire UAS resources were able to assist the neighboring Deschutes National Forest in monitoring a new start east of the Shadow Bay Campground. The use of various UAS platforms helps minimize risk to firefighters by assisting in firing operations, providing heat seeking capability with the use of Infrared technology, as well as general fire monitoring to increase situational awareness for crews on the ground.

Operations: Today is forecast to be the hottest and driest day of the week with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms that could bring gusty winds which could increase fire behavior. Crews will continue to monitor fire activity as it backs down to Black Creek Road and will focus on holding that line in the coming days.

Night shift crews will continue the use of UAS to help monitor the perimeter and ensure that any embers that may spot over the road are quickly identified.

The Devils Staircase Wildland Fire Module will begin removing brush and small diameter woody material along the Lower Fuji Mountain Trail today.

Outside of the roadless area, heavy equipment and crews will continue to work west in prepping the Forest Road (FR) 5883 road system and connecting those prepped roads to the railroad right-of-way along Highway 58. Work continues on the contingency fireline and shaded fuel break west of the fire area from Highway 58 north to FR 19 today. FR 1928 and the Huckleberry Flats OHV area remains closed for public and firefighter safety.

Evacuations: Currently, there are no evacuations in place.

Weather: A heat advisory is in effect for this afternoon as temperatures are forecast for the mid-90s with gusty outflow winds associated with nearby isolated thunderstorms.

Closures: An Area Closure is in place for the Cedar Creek Fire. This includes all trailheads and dispersed camping west and north of Waldo Lake. The lake itself, campgrounds, and trails (including the PCT) on the east side remain open. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place.

Restrictions: Fire restrictions are in place on the Willamette National Forest with the exception of the Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Waldo Lake, and Diamond Peak Wilderness areas. All campfires, charcoal or briquette fires, pellet fires, or any other fires will be prohibited, except in designated campgrounds. Portable cooking stoves, lanterns, and heaters using liquefied or bottled fuel are still allowed if they can be switched on and off. Motorized vehicles may operate only on designated trails and roads.

Smoke: Smoke Forecast Outlooks are available at Air quality in Oakridge, Oregon is expected to be good with the best time of day to recreate outdoors being late afternoon.

Fire Information: Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM | Phone: 541-201-2335 | Email: | Online: | | |


Here's Wednesday's update on the Windigo/Potter/Big Swamp fires:

𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐔𝐩𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞 - 𝐀𝐮𝐠𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝟏𝟕, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐

𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐈𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐏𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐞: 𝟓𝟒𝟏-𝟔𝟐𝟓-𝟎𝟔𝟖𝟕 (𝟖𝐚𝐦 - 𝟕𝐩𝐦)

𝐄𝐦𝐚𝐢𝐥: 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐.𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐠𝐨@𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐭.𝐠𝐨𝐯

𝐏𝐨𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐈𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐖𝐞𝐛: 𝐡𝐭𝐭𝐩𝐬://𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐰𝐞𝐛.𝐧𝐰𝐜𝐠.𝐠𝐨𝐯/𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭/𝟖𝟐𝟗𝟏/

𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐠𝐨 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐈𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐖𝐞𝐛:𝐡𝐭𝐭𝐩𝐬://𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐰𝐞𝐛.𝐧𝐰𝐜𝐠.𝐠𝐨𝐯/𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭/𝟖𝟐𝟗𝟐/

𝐁𝐢𝐠 𝐒𝐰𝐚𝐦𝐩 𝐈𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐖𝐞𝐛:𝐡𝐭𝐭𝐩𝐬://𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐰𝐞𝐛.𝐧𝐰𝐜𝐠.𝐠𝐨𝐯/𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭/𝟖𝟑𝟐𝟑/

𝐓𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲: Based on today’s Red Flag Warning for gusty winds and possible lighting, Incident Commander Alan Lawson reminded firefighters “The theme for today is situational awareness. Every firefighter needs to be prepared for changing conditions like rolling debris on steep slopes and possible spot fires.”

𝐖𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫: Red Flag Warning for gusty outflow winds and possible lightning from passing thunderstorm activity Wednesday afternoon and evening. Expect brief heavy rainfall with storm cells. Temperatures in the low 90s with relative humidity 19-20%. For smoke information visit:

𝐏𝐨𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐞:Due to moderate fire behavior yesterday, firefighters used bucket drops from helicopters to help protect current firelines and reduce fire spread. Conditions allowed for continued burnout operations. On the south flank of the fire, firefighters are working to clear vegetation away from Forest Road 2154 as an indirect fireline and are scouting for possible opportunities to build firelines on the east flank.

𝐁𝐢𝐠 𝐒𝐰𝐚𝐦𝐩 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐞:With minimal fire activity yesterday, firefighters strengthened the line along the east flank of the fire. Efforts to establish a fireline down to the Middle Fork of the Willamette River may include installing a sprinkler system to connect an existing dozer line to the riverbank on the north flank near Forest Road 2153. Mop up operations continue on the south and western portions of the fire. Hose lays are in place around parts of the fire without roads as containment features.

𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐠𝐨 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐞:Minimal fire activity yesterday remained interior to firelines. Crews continue working closely with resource advisors to limit impacts to sensitive resources and complete repair work across the fire area. Repair work mitigates post-fire damages to cultural resources, protects roads systems from excessive erosion, and provides for public safety.

𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐬: 20 hand crews, 9 engines, 4 dozers, 6 water tenders, 8 Type 1 helicopters. Total personnel 717.

𝐂𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬:For firefighter and public safety, follow the Big Swamp, Windigo, and Potter Fires.

• Additional Potter Fire Road Closure -

• Pacific Crest Trail – visit for more information.

𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐠𝐨 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐞

𝐀𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐠𝐞: 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐱. 𝟏,𝟎𝟎𝟕 𝐚𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐬

𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭: 𝟖𝟓%

𝐋𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧: 𝟐𝟎 𝐦𝐢 𝐒𝐖 𝐨𝐟 𝐋𝐚 𝐏𝐢𝐧𝐞, 𝐎𝐑

𝐂𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞: 𝐋𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠

𝐏𝐨𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐞

𝐀𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐠𝐞: 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐱. 𝟒𝟕𝟑 𝐚𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐬

𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭: 𝟎%

𝐋𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧: 𝟖 𝐦𝐢 𝐍𝐄 𝐨𝐟 𝐓𝐨𝐤𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐞 𝐋𝐚𝐤𝐞

𝐂𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞: 𝐋𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠

𝐁𝐢𝐠 𝐒𝐰𝐚𝐦𝐩

𝐀𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐠𝐞: 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐱. 𝟏𝟐𝟏 𝐚𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐬

𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭: 𝟎%

𝐋𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧: 𝟔.𝟓 𝐦𝐢 𝐍 𝐨𝐟 𝐋𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐥𝐨 𝐋𝐚𝐤𝐞

𝐂𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞: 𝐋𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠

#windigofire #PotterFire #bigswampfire

Article Topic Follows: Fire

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ news sources


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content