(Update: Fire mapped at 23,400 acres; 75 percent contained, aided by rain)
A lightning-sparked holdover fire in southeast Oregon has now been mapped at 23,400 acres and was 75 percent contained by late Tuesday, aided by rainfall, officials said.
Firefighters continued to patrol and secure the fire’s edge on Tuesday. Officials said more rain expected in the evening will help with fire suppression efforts.
More accurate mapping revised the size from an initial estimate of 15,000 acres. Officials said crews were continuing to patrol the fire's edge.
The Poker Fire was discovered around 11 a.m. Sunday on the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, on the northwest side of Hart Mountain, also known as Poker Jim Ridge, according to a midday Monday update from the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership.
The agency said about 100 firefighters are on scene working to stop the fire, which more resources are on order. High winds made it difficult for crews to contain the fire Sunday, but the rain made a big difference Monday and Tuesday.
The fire is burning in juniper, brush and grass. The cause has been determined to be a holdover from last week’s lightning event, and there is no estimated containment at this time.
Resources from the BLM, Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife Service and local rangeland fire protection associations are working together to suppress the fire. The Burns Interagency Fire Zone is also assisting by providing fire resources to help with suppression efforts.
Fire managers are also working with partners and nearby landowners on the fire.
Given the location of the fire, smoke will be visible in Plush, Adel, Lakeview and the surrounding area.
Public and firefighter safety is the top priority for all SCOFMP personnel, officials said
While firefighters are busy responding to lightning fires, it’s even more important to remember always make sure your campfire is dead out and never leave a campfire unattended.
Area residents and visitors can report suspected wildfires by calling the Lakeview Interagency Fire Center at 541-947-6315.