Central Oregon – Lightning storms passed through much of Central Oregon last night, igniting 22 new wildfires today. Firefighters quickly contained most of these, while one new fire grew to 1,000 acres this afternoon.
The Buck Creek Fire, located 17 miles northeast of Hampton, grew quickly today to almost 1,000 acres. The fire is burning in a mix of sagebrush and grass on private and BLM-managed land. Due to recent large fire growth in Eastern Oregon, the potential for more lightning starts and the presence of core sage-grouse habitat, local fire officials are taking action to aggressively suppress this wildfire. Resources on scene include two 20-person handcrews, 8 engines, a helicopter, and a dozer. A heavy airtanker provided support this afternoon. Private landowners with the Post-Paulina Rangeland Protection Association are also providing assistance on this fire.
Firefighters from both federal agencies and local ranches made good progress on the Baker Canyon Fire today. The fire grew a small amount to 8,309 acres and is now 50 percent contained. Fire crews will continue to work on improving the containment line and to keep the fire out of the Trout Creek recreation area. Full containment is expected 7/20/12.
The lightning storm that passed through Central Oregon last night put down over 1,600 lightning strikes and included variable precipitation. Firefighters, lookouts and aerial resources will continue to look for any new starts over the next several days.