C.O. firefighters chase blazes after rash of lightning

Largest fire, near Dayville, contained at 50 acres

REDMOND, Ore. - Firefighters have been busy responding to several new blazes on lands managed by the Prineville District of Bureau of Land Management, sparked by the hundreds of lightning strikes that have blanketed Central Oregon over the past 24 hours, officials said Wednesday night.

The largest incident, the Cottonwood Fire that broke out Tuesday afternoon near Dayville, has been contained at 50 acres, the update said.

Incident 343 on the John Day River corridor by 30 Mile and Wolf Mountain and Incident 345, two miles west of the Painted Hills Day Use area, have each burned about 20 acres "but have received heavy rain over the burn areas," officials said.

Both continued to be staffed by crews Wednesday night, and engines and firefighters will work toward containment through the night and morning.

The remaining incidents firefighters have responded to Wednesday have been held at two acres or less. Fire officials noted a red flag warning remained in effect through midnight for abundant lightning and gusty outflow winds.

They reminded the public to be careful with any ignitions on public lands. Central Oregon recently moved to high fire danger, meaning fuels are very receptive to ignitions.

"If you are recreating on public lands, remember to remain diligent about ensuring all fires are ‘dead out’ and cold to the touch, all spark arrestors are properly installed, and trailer chains are secured," the update stated.

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