In the past 24 hours fire fighters have responded to 21 new fires across Central Oregon, with that number expected to grow as new fires are found or are ignited by additional lightning. Most fires remained small and currently are being mopped up or have been contained.
The largest fire, and of greatest concern, is a fire (#268) burning on BLM Prineville District lands, approximately 9 miles north of Dayville, Ore, near Kimberly, Ore. The fire, which quickly grew to over 300 acres, is burning in the Dick Creek Road area in grass and shrub. Structures are being threatened by the fire and residents within the Dick Creek Road area quickly have been evacuated by the Grant County Sheriff’s Department.
Several air tankers, helicopters and crews were dispatched to the fire (#268); however, air tankers were hampered by strong winds late in the afternoon. A Type 3 Team also was assigned to the fire in the afternoon. County resources and firefighters with Central Oregon Fire Management Services (COFMS) will continue to respond to the fire.
Another fire, near Mill Creek Wilderness on the Ochoco National Forest also caused concern early in the afternoon. Firefighters were able to get a handle on the fire and at this point have been able to keep the fire small (<10 acres).
The two largest fires at the beginning of today, the Bear Creek Fire and the Buck Fire, burned grass and shrub also on BLM Prineville District lands around Brothers, Ore. The Bear Creek Fire was approximately 75 acres and the Buck Fire was approximately 250 acres. Both fires were being held and mopped up by the end of the day.
Smoke columns from fires in the Paulina Lake area of Newberry National Volcanic Monument of the Deschutes National Forest were very visible during the day because they were burning heavy timber; however, they were easily contained and kept small.
With more lightning expected overnight combined with extremely dry fuels and gusting winds, fire official expect a need for continued fire response over the next several days.