Friday, June 15, 2018

New wildfire starts near Rainbow Market just east of the Warm Springs Reservation

Jefferson County Rural Fire District #1 and the BLM are jointly managing a new human-caused wildfire that started behind an old gas station adjacent to the Rainbow Market on Hwy 26 just across the river from the Warm Springs Reservation. The fire started in light, grassy fuels and winds quickly drove the fire south parallel to Hwy 26 and east toward the top of the river canyon. As of 6:00 p.m. this evening, the fire is estimated at 230 acres with no estimate of contaiment.

Firefighters from Warm Springs, Prineville BLM, Jefferson County and Deschutes County are working the incident. A Type 2 helicopter is helping fight the fire burning on a combination of tribal, private and BLM-administered lands. There is no estimate of containment at this time.

Mecca Flats Campground is under a precautionary evacuation, and six vehicles were moved out of the area.

View of south flank of Rainbow Fire.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Firefighters responding to a 50 acre fire in the Maury Mountains

Land managers remind the public to use caution with fire as conditions dry
Central Oregon — Wildland firefighters are responding to a new fire in the Maury Mountains south of Prineville, on the Lookout Mountain Ranger District of the Ochoco National Forest, discovered yesterday afternoon along Forest Service Road 16, near the Hammer Creek trailhead about 8 miles south of Post.
The Hammer Fire is estimated at 50 acres, burning in dead and down fuels with some isolated torching, in the Hammer Creek and Florida Creek drainages.
Multiple engines and the Redmond Interagency Hotshot Crew worked into the night to contain the fire during high wind events yesterday evening. Several hand crews are arriving at the fire today and crews plan to burn out around the fire tonight or tomorrow to contain and fully suppress it.
Weather forecasts are calling for possible rain in the area this weekend.
The fire has been determined human-caused, originating from an abandoned warming fire, but the incident is still under investigation.
Land managers would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that fuels are drying out and fire danger is expected to increase along with warmer weather. There are no public use restrictions in effect at this time on National Forest System lands in Central Oregon, but campfires should always be completely extinguished prior to vacating a campsite.
A good rule of thumb for extinguishing a campfire is to make sure it is cool to the touch prior to leaving. Simply covering a hot fire with dirt may not fully extinguish it. Campfires can smolder underground for several days and a strong wind event can uncover and rekindle them.
For more information, please contact Patrick Lair at (541) 416-6647.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Prescribed Burn Planned for Tomorrow South of Bend

South Bend Prescribed Burn Near China Hat Road Scheduled for Tomorrow

Central Oregon – If conditions remain favorable, firefighters on the Deschutes National Forest plan to ignite a prescribed burn off of China HatRoad tomorrow.

On Monday, June 4, ignitions are scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on South Bend 137, a 250 acre unit south of Bend adjacent to Lost Tracks Golf Course and China Hat Road.  The Deschutes National Forest has partnered with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for this burn which is intended to improve habitat for wildlife as well as reduce hazardous fuels accumulations within the Wildland Urban Interface near Bend. Bend Fire will be assisting in the burn along with the Prineville Interagency Hotshots.

Due to the location of these units, the public could see smoke and drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby highways and Forest roads. For all prescribed fires, signs will be posted on significant nearby Forest roads and state highways that could be impacted.  No road closures are anticipated with this project. The public is encouraged to close their windows at night and if smoke is on the roadway, turn on headlights and slow down while traveling through smoky areas. The public’s health is important to the Forest Service. While significant preventive measures are taken, many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health. If individuals feel impacted by smoke, they should avoid outdoor physical exertion and remain indoors. If people experience serious health impacts from the smoke, they should contact their doctor. For more information about smoke and health, visit the Oregon Health Authority recommendations through this link:

Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs smoke from prescribed fires (including pile burning), and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health.

Keep up with prescribed burns in Central Oregon by visiting this live map:

For more information, visit the Deschuteswebsite at and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.  For more information, visit the Deschutes website at and follow us on twitter @CentralORFire.