BEND, Ore. - Two apparent human-caused fires caused problems Saturday afternoon, west of Bend and south of La Pine before they were caught and extinguished.
The first was reported just after noon about seven miles south of the Deschutes-Klamath county line, on the northeast side of Riverpine Estates.
Echo Murray, dispatch coordinator for the Walker Range Forest Protection Association, said someone apparently set two 10- to 15-year-old logging-debris slash piles on fire, sparking a blaze that sent up thick smoke and burned about 3/4 of an acre before crews got a line around it.
"It really came up fast -- had a lot of potential," Murray said.
Crews from the Crescent Rural Fire District, the Deschutes National Forest and Oregon Outback helped douse the blaze, she said. It took about an hour to have a line around the fire, but crews stayed on scene to firm up those lines and tear apart the slash piles to be sure they were out.
Cindy Jarrett said she and her husband were among the first to spot the blaze as they headed home from La Pine. She said they told Oregon State Police investigators a description of a young man on a four-wheeler in the area.
She agreed that it was a good thing the fire didn't get much bigger: "That thing was definitely flying."