Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Update – July 21, 3:00 p.m.

Firefighters spent the afternoon chasing several new starts ignited by lightning strikes that blanketed Central Oregon on Wednesday. Over 600 lightning strikes were recorded and firefighters have responded to 38 incidents, the largest of which is southeast of Maupin and estimated at 2,000 acres.

The Boxcar Fire outside of Maupin is burning in grass and brush. A Type 3 Incident Management Team has taken command of the fire which has assigned numerous engines, one heavy air tanker, a 20-person crew, 3 helicopters, and 4 Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) to contain the blaze.

Incident #391 near Lava Island Falls is burning in a kipuka or area of land surrounded by lava flows. This area is inaccessible to firefighters but is currently contained and will be allowed to naturally extinguish when it runs out of fuel into the lava. The fire could eventually get to approximately 4 acres and will continue to put up smoke for the next few days. The public is asked not to report this smoke which can be seen from Lava Butte and Deschutes River Woods.

A fire near Brothers, Oregon has been contained at .10/acre though smoke could still be visible from Highway 20 or the Oregon Badlands. The public is asked not to call in or report this fire and the smoke should dissipate by tomorrow.

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Annual BLM campfire restrictions will go into effect Thursday, June 1 on portions of the Crooked, Deschutes, John Day and White Rivers, as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook and Lake Simtustus.

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