BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A wind-fanned brush fire off Highway 20 east of Bend late Sunday afternoon, stopped at about two acres by firefighters from several agencies, was traced by investigators to improperly discarded cigarette butts, officials said.
Bend Fire & Rescue was dispatched shortly before 5 p.m. to a reported brush fire in the area of Highway 20 East and Ten Barr Ranch Road, Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Kettering said.
First reports indicated the blaze was spreading rapidly, so more units were called in to help to fight the blaze, burning in heavy brush and juniper.
The U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management and Alfalfa Fire District helped stop the fire’s spread, followed by extensive mop-up work. Redmond Fire provided mutual aid through coverage of the fire district.
The fire burned on three properties, one home in the 23200 block of Highway 20 and two on Ten Barr Ranch Road, Kettering said. The Highway 20 property, where the fire began, had damage to fencing, vegetation and a small 2017 travel trailer.
The property in the 61700 block of Ten Barr Ranch Road sustained damage to trees, vegetation and fencing, Kettering said. The fire was moving toward a home in the 61600 block of Ten Barr Ranch Road, but crews stopped it at the back deck, with minor exterior damage only.
An investigation determined the fire began at the East Highway 20 address, where cigarette butts were improperly discarded into duff and light vegetation near the property line, the fire official said.
“Careless disposal of cigarettes and smoking materials is the leading cause of fires in Bend,” Kettering said in a news release. “Never discard cigarettes into landscaping or mulch. Always use a container made of non-combustible materials, such as glass or metal.”
For more tips on how to keep safe this summer, visit https://www.bendoregon.gov/government/departments/fire-rescue/safety-tips-emergency-preparedness/year-round-safety-tips.