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Bend’s watershed not affected by the Cougar Butte Fire

Post Date:05/27/2017 1:52 PM

Bend’s watershed not affected by the Cougar Butte Fire

May 27, 2017

1:30 p.m.


Bend’s drinking water collected from the Bridge Creek watershed area is currently safe and unaffected by the Cougar Butte Fire burning in the Tumalo Creek drainage area about 11 miles west of Bend. The fire has grown to over 150 acres and is moving west away from the City of Bend watershed and water intake facility.


“At this time, based on the wind and size of the fire, there are no critical threats to the City of Bend watershed or intake facility. The fire is within a mile and a half of the City of Bend intake facility but appears to be moving west and away from the structure,” said Ken Vaughan, Safety Manager for the City of Bend.


Bend receives half of its annual water supply from the Bridge Creek watershed.   The water source is from Prowell Springs, located deep within the Deschutes National Forest. 


To meet peak summer water consumption or if the surface water from Bridge Creek cannot be used due to a forest fire in the watershed, the underground Deschutes Regional Aquifer can serve as a back-up source of drinking water. The City has 22 wells fields that can pump supplemental ground water to the City. 


The City reminds area residents and visitors to avoid the Tumalo Falls area to allow emergency personnel full access to the fire. The City would also like to extend appreciation to the firefighters working to protect these lands.


For more information about water quality and how the Cougar Butte Fire may affect City of Bend water, please contact Ken Vaughan, City of Bend Utility Department Safety Manager at 541-408-4641.


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