Timberline Lodge on Fire By Julia Aguirre

Crews trying to extinguish the fire at Timberline Lodge.
Crews trying to extinguish the fire at Timberline Lodge.
Clackamas Fire District

On April 18th, a fire was reported at Timberline Lodge around 9:30 PM. According to   OPB, crews from Gresham, Clackamas, Estacada, Portland, and Hoodland responded to the attic fire, which was extinguished by 2 AM on Friday. The fire turned out to be fairly insignificant, only causing minor damage and no injuries, but still led to the closing of the ski area on Friday, April 19th, and the lodge through April 20th.

After construction in the 1930s, as part of the Works Progress Administration, the lodge originally served as a symbol of hope during the Great Depression when many faced serious economic issues. The Oregonian states that the lodge was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. Timberline has maintained its cultural significance, now as a popular ski destination in the winter and hiking hub in the summer with several beautiful trails, showcasing the beauty of the Pacific Northwest in both seasons. It’s also well known for its appearance as the exterior setting for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining. The lodge attracts nearly two million visitors every year, according to Timberline Lodge’s website. 

The cause of the fire was investigated, and the Lodge’s website stated they suspected that embers from the main fireplace ignited the roof, causing the fire. Workers tried to put the fire out using fire extinguishers but failed, and firefighters arrived about 20 minutes later to extinguish the flames. According to The Oregonian, the blaze interrupted a wedding party, but fortunately, everyone inside the lodge was able to evacuate before the fire crews arrived, who doused the roof and chimney for hours. Guests were sent to nearby resorts in Welches and Government Camp, and structural inspections were done before the lodge reopened. Timberline Lodge announced that plans were put in place to “help guests navigate hotel repairs and ongoing water remediation,” and the lodge was reopened for breakfast in the Cascade Dining Room at 10:00 AM on April 21st. A nonprofit group, Friends of Timberline, is trying to raise $100,000 to support repairs of the roof and water damaged rooms of the building.

Many have expressed concern about the state of the 2,000 historic pieces of art in Timberline Lodge after possible damage from the fire and water. Although the flames did not reach the main part of the building, the water used to extinguish the fire soaked the building, according to The Oregonian. Timberline’s art curator announced that the damage was minimal due to firefighters and timberline staff working quickly to move pieces away from the damage and cover pieces too large to move with tarps. Most of the artwork is in good condition, with only three pieces of art receiving enough damage to require professional repair. 

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