Timberline Lodge Escapes Serious Damage in Overnight Blaze

Five agencies contained the fire in under six hours, minimizing potential damage.

Timberline Lodge, photo courtesy of Clackamas Fire Department via X.

One of Oregon’s most iconic buildings dodged disaster Thursday night, as five crews extinguished a three-alarm fire at the historic Timberline Lodge and contained much of the damage to the structure’s roof.

The 87-year-old lodge could reopen as soon as Sunday, April 21, its operators say.

“Timberline employees, Hoodland Fire, Clackamas County and Gresham first responders did an amazing job responding to the fire,” a statement reads on Timberline Lodge’s website. “The process, communication and containment saved the Historic Timberline Lodge from what could have been a much worse outcome.”

It took crews nearly six hours to extinguish the blaze, which Hoodland Fire says began in the building’s attic and roof. Upon arrival at about 9:50 pm, flames were visible coming from the central area of the lodge.

By midnight, the fire had been declared “under control.” Fire crews from the Hoodland, Clackamas, and Estacada Rural fire districts, the Gresham Fire Department and Portland Fire & Rescue all worked on containing the flames, with the final crews leaving by roughly 2:30 am.

No injuries have been reported, and Timberline guests were evacuated from the lodge without incident.

Former TechCrunch culture editor Taylor Hatmaker posted photos and videos of the fire to social media, taken during her stay at Timberline.

“This was my first mini-vacation from being a reporter, but I guess I’m reporting from here,” Hatmaker wrote. “This is terrible to watch for such a beloved place in our state.”

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Multiple federal agencies are investigating because Timberline Lodge is a federal building on federal land.

The danger to the lodge cut close to home for many Oregonians. The wooden building has stood on the flank of Mount Hood since 1937, when it was built using New Deal funds by Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps members. Construction of Timberline’s east wing began in 1972. The lodge was designated a national historic landmark the following year. Interest in Timberline boomed in the ’80s, thanks to a trendy new sport called snowboarding and the lodge exterior’s starring role in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

“Devastating news to wake up to,” Sen. Ron Wyden posted to his government X account, sharing a post from Clackamas Fire. “Big thanks to the first responders working hard to protect this iconic landmark beloved by generations of Oregonians.”

Timberline’s ski slopes will reopen Saturday, April 20, operating from the hotel’s day lodge.

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