Fires keeping crews busy days after lightning storm

Wildfires burning near Camp Sherman, Mitchell and on Warm Springs

Published Jul 15, 2014 at 12:21PM

Wildfires today continue to keep crews busy around Central Oregon and other parts of the state east of the Cascades.

“We are putting things out and getting new things reported,” said Jean Nelson-Dean, spokeswoman for the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Prineville.

The dispatch center was handling 60-plus fires and potential fires this morning, she said.

Updates on large fires burning today include, from the dispatch center and the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center:

• Bridge 99 Fire, 9 miles north of Camp Sherman on the Deschutes National Forest, has burned 300 acres and prompted the closure of Allen Springs, Lower Bridge and Pioneer Ford campgrounds.

• Jack Knife Fire, 8 miles southeast of Grass Valley on land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management, has burned 3,500 acres and is moving toward the John Day River. Rafters on the river may encounter helicopters dipping for water to drop on the fire.

• Waterman Complex of fires, all burning withing 20 miles of Mitchell, have prompted the closure of U.S. Highway 26 at Ochoco Summit and Mitchell.

A wildfire is also burning on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Immediate updates were not available.

Lighting is likely the cause of most of the fires, with thunderstorms Sunday and early Monday causing 6,000 lightning strikes around the state.

Outside of Central Oregon, fire crews have the 650-acre White River Fire, 12 miles west of Tygh Valley, 65 percent contained today and the 2,500-acre Moccasin Hill Fire, which destroyed six homes and 14 other buildings Sunday, 15 percent contained.

— Dylan J. Darling