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Big wildfires keep growing; new blaze lined SE of Bend


More heat has meant more rapid growth — and no real holiday in sight for close to 850 firefighters working to corral a now over-19,000-acre wildfire south of Dayville, one of many burning around the state as a very risky Fourth of July weekend begins.

The new wildfire (Incident #318) was reported one mile west of Horse Butte, three miles southeast of Bend.

Before nightfall, the 1.2-acre fire and a small, 1/10th of an acre spot fire had been fully lined, having burned in brush and timber, according to a Friday night update from the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Prineville.

Two 10-person hand crews, three engines and two water tenders responded to put fire line and hoses around the perimeter. The fire was human-caused, officials said, but the specific cause was under investigation.

In Wasco County, firefighters moved to 80 percent containment on Incident #312 five miles south of Clarno.

The fire had burned 2,150 acres, after crews were able to complete a burnout operation and secure containment lines. The cause of that fire also is believed to be human and is under investigation.

The Corner Creek Fire, 11 miles south of Dayville, remains the largest fire in the area, as firefighters continue to be challenged by heat steep slopes, light fuels and afternoon winds.

As of Friday morning , the fire was reported at 19,300 acres. Due to the rapid growth of this fire, several closures are in order for public safety.

On Thursday, the public was prohibited from accessing any of the lands that are closed for the protection of public health and safety. The closure includes all National Forest System roads and trails in the following area:

On the North, from the Ochoco Forest boundary at the North Fork of Birch Creek in Township 13S, Range 25E, Section 30, south to the Ochoco Forest Boundary near the junction of the 58 and 030 roads (including Sugar Creek Campground), and all roads, trails and Forest lands east to the Ochoco Forest Boundary (see Inciweb map).

In addition to the closure in place on the Ochoco National Forest, the South Fork Road/County Road 42 has been closed to the general public from near Dayville to south of the Forest Service 58 Road junction due to fire activity

To read the entire closure order and view a map of the area closure, please visit the Ochoco National Forest website at

Information about the Sugarloaf and Corner Creek Fires, managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry Team 1, can be found at and on the Central Oregon Fire Information Blog at

A red flag warning for wind and low relative humidity is in effect through 8 p.m. Saturday. This means that any new fire will have a very high potential to spread rapidly.

Fire officials want to remind everyone that in the high temperatures and very dry conditions, small sparks can start a wildfire. Legal fireworks should only be used where they are allowed, and metal containers or buckets with water should be available for properly disposing used fireworks.

Fireworks are NOT allowed on Forest Service or BLM land. Cigarettes should always be disposed of properly and never thrown on to roads or in vegetation.

Friday’s 8 p.m. update from the Sugarloaf/Corner Creek fire management team:

The Corner Creek Fire continues to grow to the south and west along the South Fork John Day River. Extremely hot and dry weather conditions are causing the fire to run, spot, and torch into timber and rangeland, burning actively about 11 miles south of Dayville.

Firefighters continue to work to protect structures near the fire and prevent the fire from crossing to the east side of the river. The fire is anticipated to burn actively into the night. Night shift firefighters will concentrate on structure protection, preventing the fire from crossing the river and checking the spread of the fire to the south.

The South Fork Road/County Road 42 is closed to the general public from near Dayville to south of the US Forest Service 58 Road junction due to fire activity. A forest closure has also been issued for part of the Ochoco National Forest near the Corner Creek Fire, including the Black Canyon Wilderness and Frazier and Mud Springs campgrounds.

The Sugarloaf Fire continues to burn on its northeast edge in areas with heavy fuels. Mop-up and hazardous tree felling continue in this area. The rest of the Sugarloaf Fire and all of the Blue Basin Fire have little heat and are being patrolled, with emphasis on the areas around the structures. Fire personnel and equipment not needed on these fires are being reassigned to the Corner Creek Fire.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect until Saturday at 8:00 p.m., indicating an increased chance of fire development and spread. The hot, dry weather with periods of gusty winds are expected to continue into the weekend.

Other fires around the state, as reported Friday by the Oregon Department of Forestry:

The lightning-caused 317-acre Blue Basin Fire burning nine miles north of Dayville on BLM-protected landsis 95 percent contained. [Go to the ODF wildfire blog, for more details.]

The lightning-caused, 840-acre Jones Canyon Fire burning 20 miles SW of Ukiah is approx. 40 percent contained. BLM lands within the Jones Canyon Fire are protected by ODF through an agreement between the protection agencies. A local, Type 3 team is managing the fire.More info:

The lightning-caused, 5,345-acre Buckskin Fire burning on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is 60 percent contained. The fire is being managed by the U.S. Forest Service. More info:

The lightning-caused, 388-acre Bunker Hill Complex burning 30 miles SE of Oakridge on the Willamette National Forest is 75 percent contained. The fire is being managed by the U.S. Forest Service. More info:

The lightning-caused, 8,688-acre Leslie Gulch Fire burning 45 miles south of Vale on BLM lands is 90 percent contained. The fire is being managed by the BLM. More info:

The lightning-caused, 462-acre Candy Kid Fire burning on BLM lands eight miles north of Drewsy is fully contained. The fire was managed by the BLM. More info:

The 0312 RN Fire is 700 acres and uncontained. Reported July 2, it is burning on BLM lands five miles south of Clarno. Cause is under investigation. The fire is being managed by the BLM.

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