Photo: Oregon Department of Forestry
Preliminary findings in the Juniper Creek Fire investigation indicate that the fire cause was consistent with target shooting. The Juniper Creek Fire started August 20, 2023, and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) contained it at 106 acres.
The fire was located northeast off Sisters near Lake Billy Chinook.
The responsible party took several safety precautions while shooting on their property. Nevertheless, a bullet fragment appears to have ignited the fire. With how dry the conditions were, the fuels were extremely receptive to ignition sources. As soon as the fire was noticed, it was reported to 911.
“This is a great learning opportunity to show that no matter how many precautions you take, you can still accidentally start a wildfire,” said Ben Duda, Sisters Wildland Fire Supervisor. “We’re grateful that the responsible party reacted quickly and called 911. Without that fast reporting, ODF wouldn’t have been able to catch the fire as quickly and keep it small.”
ODF wants to remind people that the risk of wildfire is still very present across the state. Even with cooler weather, the state has not experienced any season-ending changes in weather. No matter how many precautions you take, the best way to prevent wildfires is to not engage in activities that could start one. Check local fire regulations at www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/pages/restrictions.aspx and find wildfire prevention tips at www.keeporegongreen.org.
If you do find that a fire has started, do not hesitate to call 911. Quick reporting leads to quick response and helps to keep the fire small.
Source: Oregon Department of Forestry