The Tumalo Creek Fire near Tam MacArthur Rim grew to 10 acres Thursday as crews continued battling a handful of wildfires sparked by Wednesday’s thunderstorms.
That fire, about a half mile from the Tumalo Falls trailhead, was the biggest of nine fires burning on the Deschutes National Forest. Firefighters on the ground and firefighting aircraft held the fire to 5 acres Wednesday night, but a burning snag that rolled downhill during the night started a 3 acre spot fire below, bringing the new total to 8 acres overnight. It grew to 10 acres during the day Thursday.
A statement from Central Oregon Fire Info said fire suppression efforts continued with more support from air tankers, engines, water tenders, and two interagency hotshot crews. Some rain during the afternoon was also helping fight the fire, located on steep, rocky terrain.
“Several road closures in the immediate vicinity are in place for public and firefighter safety. Temporary closures are located on Forest Service Road 4601 at the 370 Road junction, at the junction of Forest Service Roads 370 and 380, which is the road to access Broken Top Trailhead, and on Forest Service Road 370 on the Three Creeks side.”
Anyone recreating in the Happy Valley area should also be aware there is active fire in the vicinity and the need to stay apprised of current fire activity. This includes everyone recreating on the Flagline Trail out of Dutchman Sno-Park, the North Fork Trail from the Tumalo Falls Trailhead, the Mrazek Trail, and other trails in the area.
Crews were able to hold the other fires to less than an acre.
Dry thunderstorms moved through the area just after 5 p.m. Wednesday night, igniting the fires in the tinder-dry forests.
No structures were threatened by any of the fires and the Tumalo Creek fire was outside the Bend watershed.