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Stubborn Tumalo fire, sparked by fire pit, destroys mobile home, outbuildings

Tumalo Rimrock Drive Fire Bend Fire 1227-1
Bend Fire & Rescue
Spreading fire engulfed mobile home, outbuildings on Tumalo property Sunday.

Losses estimated at $150,000; investigators say residents left for 20 minutes

TUMALO, Ore. (KTVZ) – Investigators said an unattended fire pit sparked a stubborn fire that put up a tall column of black smoke visible for miles and destroyed a mobile home and several outbuildings on a Tumalo-area property on Sunday, causing $150,000 in losses.

Bend Fire & Rescue was dispatched shortly before noon to a structure fire in the area of Rimrock Drive and Vista Bonita Drive, south of Tumalo Road and west of Highway 97, Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Kettering said.

They arrived to find a 1968 manufactured home and several outbuildings ablaze in the 64000 block of Rimrock Drive, Kettering said.

Mutual-aid water tenders were requested from the Alfalfa and Cloverdale fire districts, but it still took about an hour to fully knock down the blaze, due to a large amount of combustible material and overhead power lines that Pacific Power crews were called in to cut power to.

While the manufactured home and several outbuildings were lost, a fifth-wheel trailer, parked vehicle and three other nearby outbuildings were saved, with minimal damage, Kettering said.

Damage was estimated at $100,000 to the structures and $50,000 worth of contents. No injuries were reported.

Investigators learned the residents had a recreational fire burning in a metal fire pit behind the home, Kettering said. The lid was not in use, and the pit was located just a few feet from a hot tub and other combustible materials.

The occupants had left the property for about 20 minutes and returned to find the fire engulfing the adjacent outbuilding and spreading fast, she said.

Kettering said the property’s occupants were being assisted by the American Red Cross. She said they did not live in the mobile home but in two outbuildings on the property, with plans to build a new home.

The affected family is seeking assistance as it tries to recover from its major losses, through a GoFundMe page at

"Bend Fire & Rescue would like to remind the community that anything that produces heat needs space around it," Kettering said in a news release. "A warming fire in a manufactured fire appliance requires at least 10 feet of clearance to anything that can burn."

In addition, she said, most jurisdictions have burning regulations that define what can be burned, when burning is allowed, and what clearances are required. 

Residents within Bend and Deschutes County Rural Fire Protection District #2 can find a copy of the burning regulations here:

Article Topic Follows: Fire

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