Fire crews spent the night working on several fires burning around Central Oregon. No new fires have been reported overnight, although firefighters, lookouts and reconnaissance planes will remain vigilant today for any new starts from recent lightning storms.
The largest fire, Sugarloaf (incident #268), continues to grow and is now 5,500 acres. The fire is located about 8 miles north of Dayville, OR and is burning in a mix of shrub and light grass. Steep slopes and afternoon winds challenged firefighting efforts and contributed to fire growth. The fire is burning in a mix of public and private land and continues to threaten several structures in the area. No injuries have been reported; however, the fire did burn one vehicle and one outbuilding. The evacuation for residents within the Dick Creek Road area ordered by the Grant County Sheriff’s Department remains in effect.
More than 200 firefighters have responded to this incident, and a Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered to assume command of this fire. Crews will be assisted by a Type 1 and Type 2 helicopters today and airtankers (both single engine and heavy) are available in the event the fire moves toward structures.
In addition to the Sugarloaf fire, firefighters are working on several other fires. The Buck Creek Fire (#250) located 18 miles northeast of Hampton, Oregon held at 250 acres overnight and the Bear Creek Fire (#251) located 7 miles south of Prineville Reservoir near Bear Creek Butte held at 30 acres overnight. Crews will continue to hold and improve containment lines on these fires today. No estimate of containment is currently available.
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. As the 4th of July holiday approaches, fire officials also want to remind everyone that possession or use of fireworks on Forest Service or BLM land is illegal.