CENTRAL OREGON -- Residents all over Central Oregon lost power Sunday night, more than 12,400 Pacific Power customers' lights went off around 630 pm, and many didn't have power back before 8pm.
More than 1,000 Prineville utility customers, and 150 Central Electric Coop customers in Southeast bend, also reported outages, and lightning strikes sparked several fires. By 5 p.m., Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch reported firefighters had responded to new blazes, mostly in the Three Sisters Wilderness and west of Cultus Lake. Lisa Clark from the Prineville Bureau of Land Management says there were actually 15 new starts from Sunday's storm, most were single tree, and one grew to about an half acre in size. With the hot, dry weather expected, along with the chance for more thunderstorms, she's expecting more to pop up.
The Milepost 97 fire, which started on July 24th, has grown to 13,119 acres, and firefighters say it is now 50 percent contained. According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, firefighters have constructed line completely surrounding the fire, and are actively working the mop-up stage, extinguishing any flame to within 150 feet of the containment line.
The Milepost 97 fire has cost nearly 15 million so far, to fight, and is believed to have been human caused. An Evacuation Level 1 Warning remains in effect.