▶️ Officials monitor 22 small fires started by lightning strikes

By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY

The storm that rolled over Central Oregon Wednesday night started 22 small fires near west Bend, Sisters and La Pine, according to Christie Shaw, a spokeswoman for the Central Oregon Fire Management Service.

It’s to be expected. Local officials usually cite August as the beginning of fire season.

“So this is really the first weather event that we’ve had this summer that has brought in dry lightning and what we would consider to be abundant lightning,” Shaw said.

The fires are all less than half an acre in size and are mostly contained.

“They’re all basically under control,” Shaw said. “In some cases the firefighters are still out there working on mopping up and looking for hot spots just to be certain, especially with this evening wind increasing.”

Bend Fire and Rescue and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s office worked with a landowner last night to put out a fire in Bend’s Shevlin area. That fire has been contained to less than a tenth of an acre.

“The response that we’ve seen and what we’ve been able to do is really good based on that fuel conditions are dry and there was a lot of lightning out there,” Shaw said.

One fire officials are keeping an eye on is the Buckhorn Fire burning on Prineville BLM lands in Wheeler County. That fire is at around 80 acres and was also started by a lightning strike.

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