Crews stop downtown Madras fire threatening homes

Also near schools; halted at about an acre

Crews fight Madras grass fire

Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 crews, called out on their fourth fire of the day, halted a fast-moving, wind-driven blaze in downtown Madras early Monday that threatened 60 homes and two school complexes for a time, an official said.

Fire Chief Brian Huff said the fire was reported just after midnight in an empty lot with tall grass at Southeast J Street and McTaggart Road and began moving toward the schools and subdivision.

The crews of three brush trucks, a water tender and a command vehicle stopped the fire at about an acre, with no damage to homes, Huff said. An old homestead and fence posts did burn in the blaze.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

It was the fourth fire call-out in 24 hours for JCFD No. 1 personnel, the others being a 35-acre fire near Lake Simtustus and Pelton Dam, a lightning-sparked haystack fire on Highway 97 near the Crooked River High Bridge and the district sending an engine with three firefighters to help fight the 200-acre wildfire in Warm Springs.

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