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Brush fire south of Sunriver stopped fast, serves as reminder of dangers

(Adding video, sheriff's sgt. comments)

Talk of evacuations, task force call-up, but fire crews halted advance

SUNRIVER, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Amid high winds and smoky skies, a brush fire reported late Monday afternoon in a neighborhood south of Sunriver prompted a brief consideration of evacuations and a task force call-up, before crews stopped its advance.

La Pine Rural Fire District crews responded shortly after 4 p.m. to the reported brush fire off Stellar Drive and Hermosa Road in the Three Rivers South area.

For several minutes, a regional structural protection task force was being called up and there were early discussions of a possible need to begin evacuations due to the winds, gusting to 30-40 mph.

But despite the windy conditions, fire officials said the first few engine crews were able to stop the fire's spread within 20 minutes, apparently sparked by a power line that snapped due to a fallen tree.

First responders said they knew it was just a matter of time before more fires broke out due to the 30-40 mph winds.

"We recognize that any fires that do start today will likely, or could likely spread rapidly," Deschutes County sheriff's Sgt. Nathan Garibay said.

We asked if the holiday gave first responders concern for having enough support on hand.

"A robust response has been in order thus far, and I would anticipate that that would be the case throughout the night," Garibay said.

A Midstate Electric Cooperative crew was on site to repair the broken power line.

No injuries were reported.

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Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.



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