BEND, Ore. - Two juveniles burning debris as part of a neighborhood cleanup program were cited Saturday for illegal burning within Bend's city limits after sparking a brushfire that burned a steep embankment in the Deschutes River Canyon, officials said.
Firefighters responded shortly after 3 p.m. to the report of a brushfire in the canyon below 19849 Sunshine Way in the Sunrise Village subdivision, said Battalion Chief Dave Howe.
Crews arrived to find about one-tenth of an acre of brush burning down the steep embankment, Howe said.
Assisted by Deschutes National Forest mutual-aid crews, firefighters contained and put out the blaze before it could escape the canyon, he said.
They found the cause to be the two juveniles burning debris; they were cited for illegal burning within the city limits and released to their parents, Howe said.
On a positive note, Howe applauded canyon neighbors who help authorities deal with problems early on.
"We really appreciate residents on both sides of the canyon keeping their eyes open, not only for brushfires and for smoke ... (but) they are top-notch when it comes to watching for trapped river-runners," he said.
Bend firefighters also reminded the community that the FireFree program at Deschutes County's Knott Landfill is underway and provides for free disposal of yard debris; details are at http://www.firefree.org/index.php/events/detail/Spring_Fire_Free_May/