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Train’s spark starts fire along RR tracks in NE Bend


A spark from a passing train triggered a wind-fanned brushfire near homes along the railroad tracks in northeast Bend on Thursday morning, stopped by firefighters before it could reach two outbuildings, officials said.

Crews responded around 11:20 a.m. to the reported brushfire off Jimbo Court, on the east side of the tracks, across from Nels Anderson Road, said Battalion Chief Dave Howe. They arrived to find a spreading fire in grass and brush, spreading to trees.

While two outbuildings were briefly threatened, crews quickly stopped the blaze and limited it in size to less than a half-acre, Howe said. Two Deschutes National Forest engines and a prevention unit assisted 17 Bend firefighters.

Howe said the fire’s cause was determined to be a spark from a component of a passing train. Burlington Northern dispatched personnel and equipment to inspect the tracks and prevent a recurrence, the fire official said.

Fire hoses blocked the tracks for just over an hour as fire crews worked on both sides to make sure the fire was fully out and did not spread.

Howe said the fire served as a reminder that fuels are still dry, with warm, dry and breezy conditions that can make fires spread rapidly.

Even though fall is officially here, he said, “please continue to exercise summertime caution with fire outdoors.”

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