The Nena Springs Fire burning through the Warm Springs Indian Reservation grew more than 10,000 acres by Friday to 34,000 acres.
Even as firefighters battled the expanding blaze, lightning strikes that hit Central Oregon on Friday evening sparked numerous fires, including one at the southern base of Mount Bachelor, about 1½ miles northeast of Lava Lake; 10 miles south of Prineville and one 4 miles west of Madras, according to Patrick Lair, spokesman for the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center.
The lightning strikes from Thursday evening started 20 new fires, three of which were deemed significant.
As of Friday afternoon, the Nena Springs Fire was 4 percent contained. People in Schoolie Flat, Simnasho, and the S-300 subdivisions were being evacuated while people in Kah-Nee-Ta Resort, the Charlie Canyon Subdivision, Wolf Point and the Fish Hatchery Grade area have all been warned to be prepared to leave.
Officials had 240 personnel working on the fire Friday, according to a news release from the Northwest Incident Management Team 12.
The fire started just after 5 p.m. Tuesday and is human caused, but more specific details are still unknown.
On Friday, officials were assessing the fire, asking for additional resources and coordinating firefighting activities.
Though several engines and local firefighters are working to protect private property and community structures, a number of historic, unoccupied structures were lost, according to the news release.
Highway 3 and S-300 Road are closed, except to local residents.
The largest of the new lightning starts is the 34-acre Whychus Fire, burning in brush and timber and located about 8 miles northeast of Sisters on the Deschutes National Forest, according to a release from the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center.
As of Friday morning, crews had surrounded that fire and planned to mop up throughout the day.
Federal fire crews were also helping respond to a new start on private land just south of Antelope, estimated at 10,000 acres, and a new, approximately 18-acre wildfire just east of Bend near the city airport.
Firefighters on Friday planned to patrol the area of the Whitewater Fire — which has burned more than 5,800 acres in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness and nearby forest lands, about 13 miles east of Detroit — to look for potential new fire starts following the lightning that occurred Thursday.
Crews also planned to reinforce the fire lines on Friday.
Fire meteorologists predicted a higher chance of thunderstorms Friday night.
To keep the public and firefighters safe, the Willamette and Deschutes national forests have closed all trail access points into Jefferson Park inside the Mount Jefferson Wilderness, including a 28-mile portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. Closures also include a section of the Willamette National Forest west of the wilderness boundary and east of the town of Detroit. Those who own private property within the closure or have leased lands will be allowed to enter as long as it is safe to do so.
Closures include the following trailheads:
• Bingham Ridge, Minto Mountain, Pamelia Lake, Woodpecker Ridge, Whitewater Creek, Cheat Creek, Triangulation Peak, Leone Lake, South Breitenbush and Crown Lake in the Willamette National Forest.
• Bear Valley/Rockpile Lake, Cabot Lake, Jefferson Lake and Brush Creek in the Deschutes National Forest.
In Crater Lake National Park, cooler temperatures and rain slowed down the Spruce Lake Fire, allowing the park to reopen West Rim Drive from Rim Village to North Junction on Friday afternoon.
It also reopened the Rim Trail from Rim Village to North Junction and lifted the Level 1 evacuation notice for Rim Village and park headquarters.
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, email@example.com