Bulletin Staff Report

A fire burning in the Deschutes National Forest about 10 miles southeast of Bend was started by an abandoned campfire, authorities said Saturday.

The Tepee Fire, which was reported just before noon Friday, grew overnight to 1,592 acres, fueled by brush and timber and pushed by strong winds.

Kassidy Kern, a spokesperson for the Deschutes National Forest, said campfires are illegal at this time of year.

“This was not in a designated campground, and it specifically illustrates why we have these use restrictions in place right now at this time of the year,” she told The Bulletin Saturday afternoon.

According to a release from the Central Oregon Fire Management Service, a shift in weather conditions early Saturday allowed firefighters to use dozers to get a fire line around 60 percent of the fire, but uncontained fire continues to push east.

Kern said the blaze was being fought using engines, tankers, bulldozers and an air attack “so we have eyes on it, and we can see if there are things pushing the fire.”

Evacuation orders remain in place for areas near the fire: Level 3 (go now) for areas south of Forest Service Road 2015 (Ford Road) and west of Forest Service Road 2016 outside the forest boundary; Level 2 (get set) for areas south of Forest Service Road 2015 (Ford Road), west of Forest Service Road 23 (Spencer Wells Road) and east of Forest Service Road 2016 and north of the forest boundary; Level 1 (Be ready) for areas east of the north/south section of Forest Service Road 2015 (Fort Rock Road), south of U.S. Highway 20, west of Forest Service Road 2017 (Pine Mountain Road) and north of the forest boundary. A map of evacuation areas can be found here.

The Forest Service has temporarily closed trails and roads within the northwest section of the East Fort Rock OHV Trail System.

Forest Road 18 remains closed from the 1820 junction to the 1830 junction for public safety, according to the release.

Meanwhile, the Willow Fire burning south of Pelton Dam and Willow Canyon in Jefferson County burned about 300 acres and forced Level 1 (get ready) evacuations for residents of Elk Drive. The fire, 6 miles northwest of Madras, is about 20 percent contained.

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