A lightning storm passed through Central Oregon yesterday and early this morning, blanketing the landscape with hundreds of lightning strikes and localized precipitation. Crews worked through the night on several fires and have picked up 5 new starts this morning.
The largest fire in Central Oregon remains the Wrentham Market Fire currently estimated at 10,000 acres east of Dufur in Wasco County.
The Oregon State Fire Marshall Team with assistance from the Central Oregon Fire Management Service fire officials is responding to the fire burning on unprotected lands in the Columbia Rural Fire Protection District.
The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office issued Level 3 evacuation notices yesterday for homes in the area impacting 70-100 people.
The Rattlesnake Fire is now estimated at 4,700 acres with no containment burning on Prineville District BLM managed lands in the area of South Junction campground and the Warm Springs Reservation.
That fire is now under the unified command of Warm Springs Incident Commander Lionel Smith and Type 3 Central Oregon Fire Management Service (COFMS) Incident Commander Larae Guillory.
Four large air tankers, two Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), a heavy helicopter, are responding to the blaze in addition to the Central Oregon Rappellers and Redmond Hotshots. Trout Creek Campground on the Deschutes River is currently under a Level 2 (SET) evacuation order from Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
The Lewis Rock Fire is burning about 75 acres four miles south of Mitchell and has the entire town on a Level 1 Evacuation Notice.
The Ryegrass Fire is estimated at 1,000 acres and is east of the Maury Mountains and south of the Paulina Highway on Prineville District BLM lands. A hotshot crew and 3 engines are responding. The fire is 0% contained at this time.
Incident 449 is a 55-acre fire south of the historic Rager Ranger Station on the Ochoco National Forest and is being staffed by 10 smokejumpers.
Incident 447 by Maupin Butte near the Maury Mountains and south of Paulina Highway is 15 acres and burning on Prineville District BLM lands. Several engines are responding and it is 0% contained.
Incident 465, the Rocky Butte Fire, is burning near Steins Pillar on the Ochoco National Forest. It is estimated at 4-5 acres with two engines, a crew and aviation assets supporting suppression efforts. It is 0% contained at this time.
Incident 460 near Pringle Falls Campground on the Deschutes National Forest was contained at under ¼ acre.
With a return to hot and dry conditions over the holiday weekend, fire officials anticipate more fire starts to pop up in the next two weeks. The public is reminded that we remain in EXTREME fire danger and public use restrictions are in place on all federally managed public lands.