CROOKED RIVER RANCH, Ore. - (Update: Two more fires stopped small, threaten homes)
Crooked River Ranch firefighters had a busy week, with three brush or grass fires in three days, each of which threatened homes, officials said.
A wind-fanned, fast-moving brushfire broke out shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday in the 12000 block of Northwest Dove Road, and Crooked River Ranch Fire quickly called in Cloverdale Fire District units to assist, while Deschutes County sheriff's deputies helped close roads and advise homeowners what was happening. The Oregon Department of Forestry also sent a mutual-aid engine to assist
Deputies said there were no immediate calls for evacuations, but area residents were on alert for a time as the smoke spread in hot, windy conditions.
Before 7:30 p.m., Deschutes County Sheriff’s Sgt. Nathan Garibay, the agency’s emergency services manager, said the fire was “knocked down,” having threatened “a few houses" - about five in total -- "but it is looking pretty good now.”
Road closures were in effect near the fire, deputies said, and the public was asked to avoid the area.
Crooked River Ranch Assistant Fire Chief Sean Hartley said Thursday the fire burned about four acres. Crews remained on scene until early Thursday morning, mopping up hot spots, and were checking the area periodically.
Shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, crews were called to a small brushfire threatening a home in the 12000 block of Northwest Sumpter Drive, Hartley said.
The homeowners were able to use a garden hose to keep the fire small until the arrival of initial attack units. They were able to contain the blaze before it reached the structure and were assisted with mop-up by mutual aid resources from the Cloverdale Fire District and BLM, along with help from the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office.
The hold-over spot fire, held to about 1/10th of an acre, was about 250 feet from the Wednesday evening brushfire near a home on Mesa Lane.
Shortly after noon Friday, firefighters were called to a grass fire threatening a home in the 13000 block of Southwest Peninsula Drive. Hartley said it apparently was caused by hot exhaust from a weed-eater igniting dry grass.
Crews performed an initial attack and were able to stop the fire's spread before it reached the home, Hartley said. A mutual-aid crew from Redmond Fire & Rescue assisted with the fire attack and mop-up of the fire, also held to under 1/10th of an acre.
The fire official reminded the public when working outdoors with gas-powered equipment, make sure to place it on a surface that won't catch fire, such as gravel or pavement. Also, he said, it's best not to use such equipment during the hottest time of the day.