Shadow Lake Fire Threatens Big Lake

On the afternoon of Sunday, August 28th, lightning struck 15 miles west of Sisters, Oregon, starting a forest fire that would burn more than 10,000 acres and employ hundreds of personnel to fight it.

The Shadow Lake Fire, as it was named, forced the evacuation of Big Lake Youth Camp during the week of Family Camp II. On September 3rd, along with the campers, went the staff and yes, that also included the horses.

A week after the evacuation order was given the year-round resident staff were allowed back in. They discovered that backburn lines had been set close to the camp boundary to help keep the fire from getting too close to the camp.... The firefighters had worked hard to keep Big Lake safe!

If you plan to visit the area of the Shadow Lake Fire, or any other recently burned areas there are a few things to remember....

When entering a recently burnt forest fire area, be aware of the possible danger and use good safety practices. Fire produces aerial and ground-level risks in the form of burned-out stumps, (“stump holes”), uneven ground, and dead trees (snags) which can fall unexpectedly. Be sure to “look up, look down and look all around” to identify danger and stay safe. Practice safety with every visit into burned areas.

A Google Earth video of the Shadow Lake Fire can be found at It gives a great rundown of what happened and how the fire was fought.

Big Lake Youth Camp and much of the surrounding area have now been reopened to the public. If you have any questions before you head to the area, you can call the Sisters Ranger District at 541-549-7700.