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The Box Springs Fire about 25 miles northeast of Prineville (burning in Jefferson County) is now estimated at 240 acres.  Smoke from the wild fire has been drifting into Prineville and affecting drivers and people with health problems.  Tracy Wrolson is with the Oregon Department of Forestry:

 

"What we're dealing with is some very broken and steep terrain- the fire is 100 percent lined- but we're dealing with some spotting - that's our main concern - and we're expecting some lightning in that area this afternoon. again."

 

Wrolson says about 350 fire fighters are tackling the lightning sparked blaze that started when a lightning storm moved through the area a few days ago.

 

A small fire was also reported Tuesday morning at the La Pine State Park.  The fire was less than an acre as of Tuesday afternoon, and fire officials did not know what started it.

 

Hot temperatures and thunderstorms have wildland fire fighters on alert with a Red Flag warning in Oregon and Washington.

         

"We’ve got red flag warnings for Northeastern Oregon, starting in central oregon and going up to into Washington as well."

 

Jerri Mills, at the northwest coordination center says the thunderstorms won't have much rain, so any lightning caused fires could spread. 

 

They'll position crews in the areas where the storms are expected to hit so they can respond faster.   They're also concerned that strong winds from the storms will cause current fires to explode in size.

 

 

Traffic

 

 

  • Click on the link for the latest conditions on the mountain passes.

 

  • Purcell Boulevard Northbound lane between Neff Road and Full Moon Drive (West side of the hospital) is closed until December 20th.

 

  • Nels Anderson Road between Nels Anderson Place and Brandis Court, single northbound shoulder closure will be in effect, two-way traffic to be maintained. Project completion expected December 2017.