Crews respond to nearly 30 lightning-sparked wildfires around Central Oregon

Firefighters around Central Oregon were busy over the weekend responding to nearly 30 new fires sparked by lightning.

Nearly 40 fires were reported, but a handful turned out to be false alarms; 28 were quickly caught and contained, according to Central Oregon Fire Information.

Crews remain on four fires this morning, while firefighters remain ready for any new starts reported Monday.

Incident #684, the Green Ridge Fire, is burning about 2 miles northeast of Camp Sherman.

The fire is 12 acres this morning and already showing some active fire behavior. Additional 20-person hand crews, helicopters and water tenders have been ordered this morning to help contain this incident.

Incident #657, the Frog Fire, is burning on the east end of the Maury Mountains east of Prineville. Crews continue to work to establish a containment line around this 17-acre fire that’s burning in steep terrain with heavy vegetation.

Additional resources have been ordered to support the work Monday.

Incident # 674, the Buck Creek Road Fire, is burning about 19 miles east of Hampton.

The fire remains 17 acres Monday morning with no movement overnight. This fire is burning in an area with no roads, so access remains the primary challenge for this sagebrush and grass fire.

Incident #655, the Red Rock Fire, held overnight at 5 acres. This fire is burning approximately 3 miles east of Stephenson Lookout and just north of the Ochoco National Forest boundary. The fire has a line and crews will continue mopping up Monday.

With extremely hot weather predicted this week, firefighters will be busy responding to new wildfires from the lightning storms that passed through the area over the weekend.

Lightning holdover fires are fires that smolder in the drier material at the base of the tree where it was protected from rain from thunderstorms for days or even weeks. As conditions cause the vegetation around the tree to dry out, the fires can spread.

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