BEND, Ore. - (Update: Charlton Fire stopped at 16 acres; new small fire east of Bend also knocked down)
A wildfire near Little Cultus Lake was contained Monday night at 16 acres, but with the heat wave ramping up, Bend and other fire crews were dispatched Tuesday morning to stop a small brushfire burning near Highway 20 east of Bend.
The fire was reported around 8:30 a.m. near Highway 20 and Dodds Road. The first Bend fire crew on scene estimated it was burning a quarter-acre of juniper and grass, but said winds were not a factor. The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center also sent engines to assist on the blaze.
Initial reports indicated the fire was knocked down shortly after 9 a.m. at less than an acre. It apparently was sparked by a transformer explosion on a power pole in the area.
Meanwhile, smokejumpers, rappellers, hand crews, engines, bulldozers and air tankers dropping retardant all tackled the Charlton Fire, southwest of Little Cultus Lake.
COIDC officials in Redmond tweeted Monday afternoon that smokejumpers and rappellers were headed to Incident 708, later named the Charlton Fire.
The fire was reported about two miles east of Charlton Butte and three miles southwest of Little Cultus Lake, in an area inaccessible by road, prompting a hike in for firefighters on the ground.
As Oregon bakes in potentially record heat, the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for western areas of Central Oregon and the Cascades for dry, unstable conditions from noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday.