Firefighters today are responding to nearly a dozen new possible wildfires following thunderstorms Sunday afternoon and evening in Central Oregon.

The storms brought about 2,500 lightning strikes, said Lisa Clark, a spokeswoman with the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Prineville. There have been 11 reports of new potential fires, with the largest a 10-acre fire 9 miles southeast of Prineville Reservoir in the southwest corner of the Maury Mountains.

“Most of them are just a single tree,” Clark said.

More lightning could be in store today, with the National Weather Service in Pendleton calling for a 20 to 30 percent chance of thunderstorms around Central Oregon tonight.

Southwest of Bend fire crews today declared the 50-acre Muskrat Fire controlled, meaning they are confident the fire shouldn’t spread anymore and is close to being put out, Clark said. Lightning sparked the fire on Aug. 7, prompted evacuations of a campground on and back country near the west side of Cultus Lake. Portions of the Deschutes National Forest near the fire remained closed.

— Dylan J. Darling

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