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ODF: Target shooting apparently sparked 106-acre fire that prompted evacuations near Lake Billy Chinook

Fast-moving wildfire west of Lake Billy Chinook prompted evacuations
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Fast-moving wildfire west of Lake Billy Chinook prompted evacuations

Agency says responsible party had taken safety steps, quickly called 911

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) – Preliminary findings in the investigation of the August 20 Juniper Creek Fire that prompted Level 3 evacuations west of Lake Billy Chinook indicate that the fire cause was consistent with target shooting, the Oregon Department of Forestry said Friday.

ODF crews and others involved contained the blaze at 106 acres. 

"The responsible party took several safety precautions while shooting on their property," Friday's announcement said. "Nevertheless, a bullet fragment appears to have ignited the fire. With how dry the conditions were, the fuels were extremely receptive to ignition sources. As soon as the fire was noticed, it was reported to 911."

“This is a great learning opportunity to show that no matter how many precautions you take, you can still accidentally start a wildfire,” said Ben Duda, Sisters Wildland Fire Supervisor. “We’re grateful that the responsible party reacted quickly and called 911. Without that fast reporting, ODF wouldn’t have been able to catch the fire as quickly and keep it small.”

ODF said it wants to remind people that the risk of wildfire is still very present across the state. Even with cooler weather, the state has not experienced any season-ending changes in weather. No matter how many precautions you take, the best way to prevent wildfires is to not engage in activities that could start one.

Check local fire regulations at and find wildfire prevention tips at

If you do find that a fire has started, do not hesitate to call 911, ODF said. Quick reporting leads to quick response and helps to keep the fire small.

Article Topic Follows: Fire Alert

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