Tumalo debris burn escapes; citation issued

Flames got within 20 feet of mobile home

TUMALO, Ore. - A Tumalo home's caretaker was cited Tuesday afternoon for igniting and leaving unattended a debris burn pile that escaped and got within 20 feet of a mobile home before fire crews stopped it, officials said.

Bend firefighters responded just before 3 p.m. to a report of a field burn spreading to the southwest at a home near the Mt. Vista Mobile Home Park at 20635 Tumalo Road, said Deputy Fire Marshal Susie Maniscalco.

Crews contained the fire at about a quarter-acre and determined it was an unattended debris pile with illegal materials that escaped, Maniscalco said. The caretaker, Ken Atkinson, was issued a notice of violation.

Maniscalco said the fire serves as a reminder that a brief period of warm, dry weather can dry out fuels enough that fires can spread quickly. Winds cause low fuel moistures, also making conditions right for fires to spread fast.

"Use good judgment and safe measures when burning outdoors," Maniscalco wrote. "As we enter the summer months, fire danger will only increase. Preventing wildfire is everyone's responsibility."

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