The following joint statement has been issued by BLM Agency Administrator/Representative Don Holmstrom and BIA Superintendent for the Warm Springs Agency John Halliday:
Public safety has been our primary priority during the Shaniko Butte Fire. While firefighting activities continue, danger to the river corridor has diminished significantly. We are pleased to announce that it is now safe to reopen the Deschutes River corridor, from Trout Creek to Long Bend, to rafting and other recreational activities, beginning tomorrow morning, Sunday, July 20, at 6:00 a.m. The rest of the river also remains open.
Please be advised that smoke and some fire suppression activities may intrude upon the river experience. Helicopters may be dipping water from the river, so caution is advised. Please leave a buffer of 500 feet or more from a working helicopter. River Rangers will be patrolling the river and may temporarily halt rafting traffic during dipping operations.