BEND, OR -- A two-story home east of Bend was destroyed by fire, Monday afternoon. Crews from Bend and Alfalfa were dispatched to the address on Cougar Trail at about 3:45 p.m.
The first units on-scene found the building completely involved, with fire extending to a nearby garage, brush and trees. The garage suffered moderate damage and firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading.
Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe tells KBND News, "It did demonstrate how dry the brush, the grass, and the trees are. In years past, we've had some pretty big brush fires in February and March; and this year is especially dry, so far. People need to really pay attention and, if they're in the rural district and they're doing any burning, to be super careful because it's already really flammable out there." He adds, "Typically, in the rural district, people do their field burning and their ditch burning in February and March. And, when we have a dry winter, like we have, a lot of those fires will get away and escape control. So, we're anticipating that could happen this year if we don't get any moisture."
The blaze on Cougar Trail caused $650,000 in damage; its cause is under investigation. Howe says this is the first time the Alfalfa Fire District - formed just a few years ago
- has assisted with a large structure fire.