Skip to Content

Jefferson County Fire crews battle two house fires, along with three brush fires believed sparked by passing train

Irving Lane house fire Jefferson County Fire EMS 7-8
Jefferson County Fire & EMS
Fire that destroyed home on Irving Lane in Culver area was first of five blazes tackled in a span of a few hours Tuesday.
Jefferson County fire Watch Duty 7-8
Watch Duty/anonymous user
One of a string of fires reported in the Culver area Monday afternoon
Jefferson County fires Watch Duty 7-8-2
Watch Duty
Watch Duty had map of fires reported in Jefferson County Monday afternoon.

(Update: Jefferson County Fire & EMS releases details of string of blazes)

CULVER, Ore. (KTVZ) – Jefferson County Fire & EMS had a hot and very busy Tuesday afternoon with two house fires, the first that destroyed a Culver-area home and the last that damaged a Madras home's attic. In between, they and other agencies tackled three brush fires near Culver believed to have been sparked by a passing train.

Around 12:45 p.m., crews were dispatched to the reported structure fire on Irving Drive, east of Highway 97 in the Culver area, Deputy Chief of Prevention Jared Earnest said in a news release Tuesday. Crews arrived to find the home fully involved and flames spreading to vegetation, vehicles and other equipment.

Defensive fire operations were undertaken, as well as containing the wildland component of the fire, with assistance from BLM crews sent by the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center.

 During that firefighting effort, command staff spotted smoke to the northeast, near the Culver Highway (Highway 361) and Ford Lane, Frontier 911 dispatched firefighters to a brush fire in that area, the first of three to break out.

During that response, Earnest said, a second brush fire was observed to the south, on the north side of Juniper Butte – and dispatchers sent crews to the brush fire on SW Feather Drive near King Lane, also in the Culver area, and it too was contained.

During the second fire, command staff called in a Central Oregon task force to assist with the wildland blazes.

While responding to the third fire of the afternoon, a smoke column was spotted south of the first brush fire, on the south side of Juniper Butte, and the third brush fire was located near Green Drive and Monroe Lane.

All of those fires were staffed and being fully put out when another working structure fire was reported on SW Madison Street in Madras.

“Thankfully, resources were deployed in a manner that effective covered the district,” Earnest said, and crews were able to stop the house fire in the attic space.

No firefighters were injured in any of the blazes, he said, but two residents of the Culver-area home that burned down were taken to St. Charles Madras for treatment of smoke inhalation. The American Red Cross was contacted to assist residents of the two homes.

Resources on scene/in the area:

Structure Engine: 3

Ladder Truck: 1

Light Brush Truck: 9

Heavy Brush Truck: 3

Water Tender: 3

Support Unit: 2

Chief Officers: 9

Agencies that Assisted:

-Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

- Madras Police Department

-Oregon State Police

-Warm Springs Fire and Safety

-Bureau of Land Management (local engines as well as Eastern Oregon Task Force)

-Oregon Department of Forestry

-Redmond Fire and Resue

-Crooked River Ranch Fire and Rescue

-Cloverdale Fire

-Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire

-Bend Fire and Rescue

-Pacific Power  

Safety Message: Jefferson County Fire and EMS would like to remind everyone that during the this very hot and extremely dry time of year to be aware of your defensible space around your structure and attempt to cut back flammable vegetation away from the residence. We recommend that the first 5 feet away from the house be free of any combustible material. The next 35 feet away from the structure should be “lean and green,” meaning that grasses are mowed and all vegetation is being cared for and watered.

Jefferson County Fire and EMS would also like to remind everyone to be prepared and educated on evacuation procedures for your area. Please visit your Sheriff's Office website to register yourself and the location you live for emergency alerts in your area.   

Investigation: At the time of this press release estimate of losses for the structures are still being obtained and the investigation into the structure fires is on-going. The brush fires are believed to be caused by the train that was traveling through the area at the time. All brush fires were located directly against the railroad tracks.

Central Oregon Fire Management Service said its resources responded to three incidents in mutual aid support with Jefferson County. "Forward progress has been stopped on the three incidents," which they said "range from an estimated .10 of an acre to 2.5 acres."

BNSF Railway spokeswoman Lena Kent said, "We are aware of the brush fires which have been extinguished. They are currently under investigation and cause has not been determined."

Due to the hot temperatures and increasingly dry conditions, officials raised the fire danger level to extreme for public lands across Central Oregon.

Article Topic Follows: Fire

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ news sources


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content