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Terwilliger Fire nearly triples in size near Cougar Reservoir

As of Thursday morning, the fire was at more than 3,200 acres and still only 1 percent contained.

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 6:48 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 7:01 PM

VIDA, Ore. -- The Terwilliger Fire burning near Cougar Reservoir has nearly tripled in size, and firefighters are digging in.

As of Thursday morning, the fire was at more than 3,200 acres and still only 1 percent contained.

Tokatee Golf Course transformed into base camp

Firefighters have set up their base camp at Tokatee Golf Course in Rainbow nearby.

At the camp, crews can get a hot shower and food when they come off the line. Other services are also set up at the base camp.

"This is a long duration fire," Incident Commander Alan Sinclair said. "It's going to be on the landscape for a while. People are going to be engaged with it for a while. So, yeah, this is day two of setting up our fire camp. (It's) not complete, but we are getting there." 

The golf course remains open.

Incident Commander Alan Sinclair said the fire is growing on the east and west side of the reservoir. Sinclair said steep terrain on the west side is proving a challenge for firefighters, while the east side is a wilderness area.

RELATED: Firefighters facing dangerous conditions as Terwilliger Fire explodes

Crews are working to make barriers to stop the fire from spreading, but their options are limited, Sinclair added. At this time, they don’t know how long it will take to get the fire under control.

“We are entering a period of more moderate weather right now, so things should settle down a bit,” Sinclair said. 

He added that there's not much impeding the fire from growing.

However, Sinclair said that just under a mile southeast of the fire is an area that burned in a previous fire. He hopes that burn scar will help stop the fire from spreading.

READ MORE: Terwilliger Fire east of Springfield burning more than 1,200 acres

While the fire has moved closer to campgrounds, no structures losses have been reported, and no major injuries have been reported either.

At this time, Sinclair said they don’t know how much damage has been done to Cougar Hot Springs.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Officials said they believe the fire started near the trail to Cougar Hot Springs.

MORE: Fire rages near Terwilliger Hot Springs

Firefighters plan to meet with the community Friday to provide an update and hear concerns. That meeting has been scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at McKenzie High School in Finn Rock.

Due to the growing wildfire, the following closures are in place:

Closed campgrounds:
• Hard Rock Campground
• French Pete Campground
• Cougar Crossing Campground
• Sunnyside Campground
• Slide Creek Campground

Closed recreation sites:
• Indian Ridge Lookout
• Terwilliger Hot Springs
• Echo Day Use and Boat Launch

Closed trails:
• French Pete Trail #3311
• Bear Flat Trail #3301
• Quaking Aspen Trail #3332
• Lowder Mountain Trail #3329
• Olallie Mountain Trail #4100
• Walker Creek Trail #3330
• East Fork Trail #3308
• Indian Ridge Trail #3315
• Rider Creek Trail #3319
• French Pete Trailhead
• Upper Lowder Mountain Trailhead
• Upper East Fork Trailhead
• Lower East Fork/Lower Echo Trailhead
• Echo Trailhead
• O'Leary / Castle Rock Trailhead
• Lowder Mountain Trailhead
• Indian Ridge North (Upper) Trailhead
• Indian Ridge South (Lower) Trailhead

Closed Forest Service Roads (FSR):
• Sections of FSR 1900
• Sections of FSR 2618
• Sections of FSR 1927
• FSR 1900-408
• FSR 1900-410
• FSR 1980
• FSR 1985
• FSR 1986
• Sections of FSR 1993
• FSR 1994

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