Fire crews continued to work on several fires burning around Central Oregon, and three new fires were reported today. The largest of the new fires is incident #285, a two-acre fire started by juveniles playing with fireworks on Round Butte, 5 miles southwest of Madras. Fire crews responding from the Prineville BLM and Jefferson County rapidly contained this incident; however, it serves of a reminder about how quickly fireworks can start a fire. Fireworks should only be ignited by an adult, in a safe area clear of vegetation, and only where they are legally allowed. Restrictions vary by city and county, so verify local regulations before using fireworks.
Fire crews are responding to a new lightning start (#283) on the east end of the Maury Mountains east of Prineville, initially reported at ¼ acre, and a single-tree fire south of milepost 53 on Highway 20. Lightning storms currently tracking north through Crook and Wheeler Counties may start additional fires overnight or in the next several days.
The largest fire, Sugarloaf (incident #268), continues to grow to the south. Heavy smoke lifted this afternoon, allowing a helicopter to map the perimeter; the fire is 4,095 acres. Crews are making progress constructing a fireline, and the incident is now 20 percent contained. The fire is located about 8 miles north of Dayville, OR and is burning in a combination of shrub and light grass. One firefighter suffered from dehydration today but is receiving treatment and doing well. The residents in the Dick Creek Road area have been allowed back in their homes; however, they remain ready to leave in the event that conditions change again.
A Type 2 Incident Management Team will assume command of this fire tomorrow morning and a fire camp has been established in Dayville, Oregon to house the almost 250 personnel working on this incident.
In addition to the Sugarloaf fire, firefighters are working on two other fires. The Buck Creek Fire (#250) located 18 miles northeast of Hampton, Oregon remains at 250 acres and is 90 percent contained. The Bear Creek Fire (#251) located 7 miles south of Prineville Reservoir near Bear Creek Butte held at 30 acres today and is now 100 percent contained.
Red Flag Warnings remain in effect through 9 p.m. tonight for lightning, primarily in areas east of Prineville. Fire crews will remain stationed around Central Oregon to respond as quickly as possible to any new fires.