Crater Lake has always experienced low-intensity surface fires naturally ignited by lightning. Being high in elevation, Crater Lake experiences more lightning strikes than places of lower altitudes. However due to fire suppression throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, sparse forests were replaced with denser forests. The lack of natural fire has led to overgrown and unhealthy forests, creating a higher risk of stronger wildifres.
Since the 1970s, the National Park Service has been working to restore fire to the Crater Lake ecoystem, however there is always the possibilty of a large wildfire due to the decades of fuel build up. Learn more about how the National Park Service works to manage fire.
Crater Lake National Park averages between two and four fires per year, and are generally of less than .25 acres or less. Since 1931, there have been over 380 fires, and 84 of those have been caused by humans. There are even a few reports of fires occuring on Wizard Island throughout the years.
Last updated: August 18, 2017