BEND, Ore. - (Update with comments from homeowner)
Bend firefighters stopped a brushfire that began at a pump house Tuesday morning near Rickard Road, knocking out water service to about 15 homes, officials said.
The fire, reported just after 9 a.m., began at a pump house that supplies drinking water to 15 homes in the area.
Sparks fell from an electrical panel that runs the pump house, and the fire quickly spread to a nearby pine tree and burned about half an acre.
Jimmy Wilson is a homeowner in the area, and the pump house is located on his property.
Wilson said he is in charge of making sure that the pump is operational and spotted the fire and quickly notified dispatchers.
“There was a small fire just around the pole, but as dry as it is, I knew what it was going to turn into," Wilson said. "So I called 911 immediately.”
Crews were able to knock down the flames and get the fire under control before it had a chance to spread.
Wilson said he fielded many calls Tuesday with questions from his neighbors, asking about the status of their water supply.
“I probably got about 10 or 12 phone calls on my phone right now, and I’ve talked to a couple of them, and they’re really good," Wilson said. "Everybody out here knows that we have instances where the water goes down, and we get it back on as quick as possible.”
Residents living near the fire ran their sprinklers Tuesday afternoon to make sure there were no embers rekindled the blaze. Officials are hoping to have the pump house repaired and drinking water service restored by Wednesday.
The Bend Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service also took down a tree that caught fire and put out hot spots in the area.
Firefighters checked on the site later in the day and plan to return Wednesday to make sure it doesn't restart.