Lines hold on Day Basin Fire; S. Oregon fire prompts evacuations
(Update: Adding new lightning-sparked, 100-acre fire north of Burns)
MILLICAN, Ore. (KTVZ) – A lightning-sparked wildfire fueled by heat and winds grew to about 270 acres six miles north of Brothers in Crook County as a fire protection association, aided by BLM crews and an air attack, worked Friday to douse the blaze in grass, trees and brush.
Incident 519, newly named the Pucker Hill Fire, was reported about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on private land south of Bear Creek and about seven miles northeast of Highway 20's junction with George Millican Road (state Highway 27), Bill Armstrong of the Hampton Rangeland Fire Protection Association said.
It grew to about 30 acres Wednesday night and spread to the east overnight before being pushed north in Thursday’s heat, burning mostly in a canyon, Armstrong said. It was burning mostly among trees in the area, making it a challenge to cut line, he added.
Armstrong said Friday the fire had been mostly suppressed, with no active burning, only smoldering and light smoke. He said crews would be working to establish a perimeter on Friday. Air resources were called in to help firm up the bulldozer lines, along with more BLM personnel.
Some structures were threatened, and as it moved toward the northeast late Thursday, one home potentially had been in danger on the McCormack Ranch, Armstrong said.
Elsewhere in Central Oregon, crews held the line on the 41-acre, lightning-sparked Day Basin Fire southwest of Dayville on Thursday, despite the heat and winds. Crews worked to secure the line and will continue on Friday.
Central Oregon fire officials also noted that so far this year, firefighters have responded to 157 human-caused starts, more than twice the 70 at this point a year ago. They reminded residents that fires are banned except in metal rings at developed recreation sites.
In Eastern Oregon,a lightning-sparked fire, the Buck Butte Fire, was discovered Thursday and by Friday had burned about 100 acres 20 miles north of Burns in the Black Butte area on the Malheur National Forest's Emigrant Creek Ranger District.
In Southern Oregon, the Worthington Fire about five miles northeast of Eagle Point grew rapidly Thursday to about 500 acres and prompted evacuations along Worthington Road.