By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Nearly 200 homes west of Bend were forced to evacuate due to Sunday’s Bull Springs Fire as it spread rapidly during a windstorm.
The fire, first reported around 4 p.m. Sunday has burned about 211 acres north of Shevlin Park. It is lined, but not contained.
The cause is under investigation.
What we know is the fire was fanned by 65 mph winds.
Two outbuildings burned down, but no homes were damaged.
It spread more than a mile in a short time, forcing evacuations of homes along Johnson, Tyler and Khulman roads near Tumalo Reservoir.
“It is fully dozer lined. There are a few smaller spot fires outside the line that have hand line around them,” said Christie Shaw, Oregon Dept. of Forest Public Information Officer. “They continue to focus on the areas where there’s a lot of heat present and trying to push those back.”
The Bend Fire Department protected homes while the Oregon Department of Forestry, BLM and Forest Service crews worked on slowing the fire as it burned through stands of ponderosa, juniper, and bitterbrush.
Landowners helped by cutting fire lines with bulldozers.
“If we hadn’t all worked together that would really strap our agencies because we are not in fire season. We are not staffed up to meet these types of larger fires,” Shaw said. “Luckily, we had some weather come in later in the day and the wind died down. That really helped pinch off the fire, stop the spread.”
A homeowner in the Saddleback neighborhood said he was relieved to find his home still standing after he was forced to evacuate the day before.
He said he’d lived there 30 years and never seen a windstorm like the one that rolled through Sunday.
“I always tell people you should always be ready to evacuate and never wait. We always say go early, don’t wait until it’s a level 3 to get your stuff together and be ready to go,” Shaw said.
Homes that were evacuated Sunday remain on a Level 1 “Get Ready” evacuation notice as of Monday evening.