Firefighters have been busy responding to new fires that started from a lightning storm that passed through Central Oregon on Sunday. Most of the fires were held to less than a tenth of an acre – typically called a single tree fire – and a few grew larger.
Crews worked with the Wheeler County Rural Fire Protection Association to hold the Shady Grove Fire near Service Creek to 15 acres on Monday, and Tuesday evening a new start was reported approximately 26 miles east of Bend and south of Highway 20. Crews quickly responded and have held Incident #603, Kotzman Fire, to 40 acres.
Firefighters will continue mopping up existing fires today and will be ready to respond to any new starts. Lightning hold-over fires could continue to pop up for several days and a Red Flag Warning is in effect today and tomorrow for abundant lighting. With this potential, fire officials want to remind the public to be extra cautious when out recreating on public land. Adding in a human-caused wildfire from an abandonned campfire or from someone parking in dry brush reduces the capacity of crews to respond to new lightning fires.