Off-ramp closed, train traffic stopped, building evacuated; 2 blazes also by RR tracks in Jefferson County amid record heat
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A small brush fire broke out along railroad tracks near the Bend Parkway and Empire Avenue Tuesday afternoon, prompting closure of the northbound off-ramp, a brief shutdown of the BNSF Railway and evacuation of the adjacent Lonza Bend Research facility, officials said.
The fire was reported shortly before 4 p.m. between the railroad tracks and Lonza, off Corporate Drive, Bend Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki said.
The fire spread to both sides of the tracks but was quickly stopped at about a quarter-acre, Derlacki said. BNSF stopped train traffic for a time while Bend firefighters and police worked to stop the fire.
The cause of the fire was not determined, Derlacki said. No structures were damaged, but Lonza evacuated staff from the main building out of precaution.
Several fires were reported around the region Tuesday as temperatures soared to records, including 97 degrees in Redmond, where a fire was reported in a U.S. Postal Service delivery truck.
To the north in Jefferson County, two small fires broke out around 3 p.m., also along the BNSF tracks. Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 Deputy Chief Kasey Skaar said they were unable to determine a cause of either blaze, though they were very close in time along the tracks.