Car fire on HWY 97 causes traffic delays, power outages


A car fire on Sunday morning caused major traffic delays and damaged power lines in south Bend, according to Bend Fire and Rescue.

At 11:30, Bend Fire was dispatched to a vehicle fire on Highway 97 and Ponderosa Street. Crews arrived to find a 2001 Toyota 4Runner on fire and the flames had spread to nearby bushes and trees.

More help was requested from the Department of Forestry and US Forest Service because of Sunday’s high winds and the dense nearby vegitation.

According to Bend Fire, the fire was contained to around one fourth of an acre, but utility lines were damaged.

Cars going south on Highway 97 were restricted to a single lane. Pacific Power and Bend Broadband helped with utility repairs, and Oregon Department of Transportation, Bend Police, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police helped with traffic.

An investigation revealed that the driver of the 4Runner had swerved to avoid a deer and went off the road, according to Bend Fire. The 4Runner got stuck, and in an effort to get the car out of the vegitation, pine needles came into contact with the hot exhause components and they ignited. According to Bend Fire, the vehicle was “a complete loss.”


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