Small fires dot Badlands Wilderness Area

More than 250 lightning strikes over past 24 hours

Firefighters are monitoring three small fires in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness Area this afternoon, according to the fire dispatch center in Prineville.

Each of the three fires was approximately 0.10 acre in size early this afternoon, and fire officials believed it was unlikely they would spread because of the large amount of sand in the area, the dispatch center reported on its blog.

Meanwhile, crews continued to battle several other wildfires across Central Oregon early this afternoon. Thunderstorms on Saturday caused rain, wind and more than 250 lightning strikes in a 24-hour period, according to a dispatch center press release. All lightning-caused fires were contained to less than 1 acre.

Crews were still trying to contain the Castle Fire near Sisters, which was located Saturday burning within roughly half a mile of Monty Campground on the Metolius arm area of the Deschutes National Forest’s Sisters Ranger District. The Castle Fire was 22 acres by early this afternoon and although hotshot crews established containment lines around the top of the fire, they could not reach the base of the fire due to steep and rocky terrain. A level three evacuation notice remained in place for Monty Campground this afternoon, meaning that people should not be at the campground.