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Six small new fires tackled around Central Oregon


Central Oregon firefighters went after six new wildfires around the region Thursday, bringing the total to 17 since Tuesday, many of them lightning-sparked, officials said.

Most of the new fires were caught small across the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests and Prineville BLM lands — except for the 8- to 10-acre Shevlin Fire that closed Shevlin Park west of Bend.

Crews reported good progress on two lightning-sparked wildfires that have burned about 200 acres near Twickenham, a Wheeler County community about 14 miles southeast of Fossil, according to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Prineville.

Incident 169 was about 150 acres and completely surrounded by retardant line, with some burning in the interior continuing to produce smoke.

Incident 177, located nearby, held at 50 acres. Crews and a helicopter dropping retardant continued to build a line around the fire, both of which burned in juniper, grass and brush across steep terrain and in drainages on private and BLM-administered land..

On the Deschutes National Forest, firefighters on Thursday finished digging lines around a 25-acre wildfire spotted Wednesday. Incident 172 burned in steep trees and brush about nine miles west of Sunriver and 10 miles south of Mt. Bachelor.

Several firefighters who hiked into the fire were continuing mop-up efforts Thursday. A Type 2 helicopter crew helped out Wednesday on that fire.

The fire has been determined to be human-caused, but still under investigation, officials said.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for much of Central Oregon, which remains in effect until 8 p.m. Friday.

A red flag warning indicates a high likelihood for critical fire weather behavior, which includes strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures.

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