News

Two new rangeland fires cover 8,000 acres

Tenino Fire at Warm Springs at 7,500 acres

Nearly 50 wildfire starts in one day

BEND, Ore. - (Update:Saturday evening updates on several fires)

Two large new wildfires emerged Saturday, covering a total of 8,000 acres of BLM-managed rangeland near Clarno and Fossil, two days after the region was hit with hundreds of lightning strikes that sparked several major fires.

Central Oregon fire managers said the Seale Fire was estimated at 7,000 acres northwest of Fossil beside  the Thirtymile Wilderness Study Area on the BLM's Prineville District. Three engines and an air attack were on the blaze, according to the Central Oregon Fire Management Service Twitter feed.

Meanwhile, Incident 1039 had burned about 1,000 acres with "active fire behavior" in the Twickenham Rangeland Fire Protection Association, about five miles southeast of the BLM's Spring Basin Wilderness Area, which is located northwest of Fossil along the John Day River.

Word came Saturday night from Frontier Dispatch of a Level 1 pre-evacuation notice near Twickenham, an unincorporated community in Wheeler County along the John Day River. It was issued  for all homes north of Twickenham two miles downriver from the boat launch, as well as all homes of south Twickenham downriver from the boat launch and the boat launch at Burnt Ranch Rapids., 

Elsewhere, Central Oregon firefighters and those who direct their efforts were busy working to rein in several large wildfires sparked by Thursday's lightning strikes while watching for any new smoke columns to emerge.

Here's the Saturday 8 p.m. update from Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Redmond:

Hot afternoon temperatures increased fire activity on the east side of COFMS protected lands today. Firefighters have responded to a total of 58 incidents since Thursday.

The Stubblefield Fire burning on private land 5 miles east of the John Day River was reported at 9,000 acres this morning but has no new acreage estimates. The Oregon State Fire Marshal Blue Team and Prineville District BLM are in command of the incident.

Also being assisted by the Prineville District are Incidents 1039 and 1045 (Seale Fire). The Seale Fire is immediately adjacent to Thirtymile Wilderness Study Area and estimated to be 7,000 acres. Incident 1039 will be managed by a Central Oregon Type 3 team with Incident Commander Joe Cochran. That incident is on the Twickenham RFPA approximately 5 miles southeast of the Spring Basin Wilderness Area and is estimated at 1,500 acres.

The Mile Post 6 fire on the Crooked River National Grassland was held at 1,500 acres, and while the public saw smoke and active fire behavior from tree torching on the interior of the fire, all perimeter fire lines held through the afternoon heat. The drag boat races were held today at Haystack Reservoir and a Level 2 evacuation notice remains in place for the campground.

The Sorefoot Fire burning on Prineville District BLM-managed lands about 5 miles northeast of Antelope is now 50% contained and remains 800 acres. Firefighters continued mopping up along the fire perimeter to secure fire lines.

On the Deschutes National Forest, the Spring Creek Fire, is 1 ½ miles south of Monty Campground on the Sisters Ranger District and is 16 acres. Crews on the ground were assisted by aerial resources and fire behavior has moderated. A Level 1 evacuation notice remains in place on the Perry South and Monty Campgrounds.

Incident 1022 near Quartz Mountain on the southeast corner of the forest remains 50 acres and crews continue to mop up along the perimeter.

The Grizzly Road Fire (Incident 1029) on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands is lined at 360 acres. Firefighters continued mopping up today.

A Saturday update from the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office said there were 47 homes threatened by the Stubblefield Fire, on which Gov. Kate Brown declared the Conflagration Act to bring in outside resources. It was formerly referred to as the Lamberson Fire.

The approximately 9,000-acre fire was part of a group of four fires, including the Seale, Lonerock and Buckhorn fires, that totaled more than 18,000 acres.

Incident 1018 remains at 250 acres on private land 8 miles northwest of Fossil. COFMS is also assisting Gilliam County with this incident.

Meanwhile, the Tenino Fire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation north of Lake Billy Chinook was estimated at 7,500 acres Saturday evening, according to Bobby Brunoe, the tribes' general manager of natural resources..

There was no containment estimate for the Tenino Fire, burning primarily on rangelands and in the forest's pine fringe zone. Structure protection crews were in place for 20-plus homes near Seekseequa and Tenino, but no evacuation notices on Saturday.

Several smaller fires caught Friday also were being monitored and another smoke report was being searched for late Saturday morning. 

The Northwest Coordination Center said the Watson Creek Fire burning in Lake County 13 miles west of Paisley has grown to 10,500 acres, threatening eight homes.


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