Brushfire sends up smoke plume in La Pine

Caught at one-third acre; cause under investigaton

La PINE, Ore. - A large, black column of smoke visible for miles Sunday afternoon brought La Pine and other crews to a brushfire they were able to contain at about one-third of an acre in hot, windy conditions, officials said.

The La Pine Rural Fire Protection District responded around 12:45 p.m. to the reported fire at 52220 Dorrance Meadow Road, said Lt. Joe Sawyer. Incoming units were able to see the smoke plume from over two miles away, he said.

They arrived to find the fire moving toward the north, and with the help of Oregon Department of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service crews, the 25 personnel were able to contain the fire to the property and also protect homes in the area. The Oregon Department of Forestry and Walker Range Forest Protective Association also responded to assist.

While no other homes or other properties burned, crews fought several spot fires in a relative humidity of 11 percent, 96-degree temperatures and shifting winds of 3-5 mph, Sawyer said, adding, "We were lucky to be able to catch it."

A Forest Service investigator was looking into the cause of the fire, he added. Crews were on scene for about three hours.

The fire district wanted to remind citizens to check and make sure burn piles from last spring are out cold. They noted that burning embers can remain buried for months, then spark a wildfire.

They also noted the red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service for dangerous fire conditions and asked everyone to use extreme caution.

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