Firefighters keeping lightning fires small
August 19, 2014
Yesterday, lightning sparked six fires on the McKenzie River Ranger District. Fortunately, firefighters were able to respond rapidly to these starts and kept them all under an acre. All the fires were located in the north end of the Three Sisters Wilderness and required the work of rappellers, smoke jumpers and district personnel to keep the fire sizes to a minimum.
“We are also keeping a look out for ‘sleepers,’” said Randy Harbick, Fire Management Officer for the McKenzie River Ranger District. “Yesterday, we found two fires that were left over from the previous storm. But we have patrols out, our lookouts staffed, and a reconnaissance plane searching for them. We’ll continue to be diligent in our efforts.”
Since August 10th, the district has received four lightning storms, which generated 24 fires. Most of the fires remained under an acre, and none of them reached ten acres in size. Two fires were located very close to private land, and with help from Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) resources, the fires are now fully contained and in patrol status without any damage to private property.
“I’ve been very pleased with the work from our fire personnel,” said Harbick. “We have also gotten a lot of help from our ODF partners, other district employees and the public who have called in fires.”
So far, none of fires have prompted closures or created smoky conditions for the nearby towns of McKenzie Bridge and Blue River.
McKenzie River Reflections