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Thursday, July 27, 2017

7/26/2017 Central Oregon Fire Update

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Update - July 26, 9:00 p.m.


Redmond, Oregon Firefighters spent the afternoon chasing several new starts ignited by lightning storms that passed through Central Oregon on Wednesday. As of press time, firefighters had responded to—and contained—9 new fires, all under ½ acre. They also provided assistance on a fire that started at the Willamette Pass ski area on the Willamette National Forest and assisted Bend Fire with an incident.

Over 100 lightning strikes have blanketed Central Oregon since 1:00 p.m. and lightning was forecasted to continue well into the night. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for “abundant lightning and gusty winds” that remains in effect until 11:00 p.m. tonight.

Firefighters continued constructing and improving containment lines on the Emerson Fire, burning approximately 5 miles northeast of Madras on private land and the U.S. Forest Service managed Crooked River National Grassland. There was minimal growth on the Emerson Fire today that is now estimated to be 10,619 acres and 30% contained. Previous estimates of the fire placed containment at 40% but that number was revised after fire officials were able to see the fire from the air. A Type 3 incident management team comprised of Prineville Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service firefighters has command of the fire and will continue working with Jefferson County Rural Fire District to manage the blaze. This fire was determined to be human caused.

As we reach the peak of fire season, fire officials want to remind the public that hot and dry weather conditions have created extreme fire conditions throughout Central Oregon. Fire restrictions are now in place on public lands, limiting campfires to only designated campgrounds. The public is asked to avoid driving or parking over dry grass. 

Fireworks and exploding targets are always illegal on public lands.

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