La PINE, Ore. - A fire broke out in a wooded area behind Gordy’s Truck Stop Thursday afternoon, prompting a call-out of federal and state firefighters to assist La Pine fire crews in extinguishing the blaze.
Sam McKenzie, assistant manager of the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Redmond, said the fire was reported about 3 p.m. just east of the truck stop off Highway 97.
“We sent a pretty robust response,” McKenzie said, including two 10-person crews, a water tender and three engines to help a La Pine engine on the scene.
McKenzie said there was stopped at about a half-acre. He said the area has a lot of pine needles and lighter, dry fuels that could fuel the flames, which flared high among the Ponderosa pine trees.
The cause “sounds like a motorist parked in a bad area,” where an exhaust or catalytic converter could spark a fire, McKenzie said.
“They knocked it down pretty fast,” in about 45 minutes, he said. But crews were on scene for hours after that, making sure the fire had a “good, solid mop-up” before winds kick up with an incoming front.
“Fortunately, there wasn’t a ton of wind and the temperatures were cooler today, which helped keep it from running,” McKenzie said.