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Thursday, August 3, 2017

8/2/2017 Cinder Butte Fire Update

Crews Responding to New Fire between Bend and Burns

 Hampton, Ore. – Fire crews responded to a new fire burning off Highway 20 between Bend and Burns, OR. The Cinder Butte fire was reported just after 1 p.m. this afternoon on the boundary between the Prineville and Burns BLM districts, about 16 miles east of Hampton, OR. The wind-driven fire has grown quickly and is now over 10,000 acres. There is no estimate of containment. Although the fire shut down Highway 20 for a period of time this afternoon, the highway is now open with a pilot car as needed, and the fire is moving to the southeast away from the highway.

In addition to engines and handcrews on the incident, firefighters were supported by 4 heavy airtankers, 7 single engine airtankers, and a VLAT (very large airtanker capable of drops up to 12,000 gallons). The fire is burning in a mix of very dry grass, brush and juniper on both public and private land. High temperatures and very low relative humidity will remain in effect over Central Oregon for the next several days, contributing to continued extreme fire behavior and challenging fire suppression efforts. 

Additional resources will continue to arrive to assist firefighters and a Type 2 Incident Management Team will assume command of the fire tomorrow.

Fire danger throughout Central Oregon remains EXTREME due to very dry fuel conditions and extremely high temperatures. Fire officials urge everyone to use extreme caution when out recreating on public lands.

In addition, smoke is drifting into Central Oregon from the Whitewater Fire burning on the Willamette National Forest and from several large wildfires burning in British Columbia. As smoke settles in overnight, people with respiratory issues are encouraged to stay inside with windows closed if possible to minimize exposure to smoke.


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