You thought it was a big storm; well it was. The latest word from fire bosses is not 8000 lightning strikes from yesterday's storm. In Central Oregon, as of 9 a.m. this morning 110 new fires had been reported. Of these, approximately 70 have been confirmed as fires and responded to. While the majority of these have been quickly contained at less than one acre, three grew larger. Lisa Clark says the largest fire is near Clarno, and even forced some evacuations. It’s the Hancock Fire. It’s about 10,000 acres, and grew quickly. Two fires near Prineville also triggered a lot of calls to fire bosses; but no real threat to nearby homes. And Warm Springs reports 17 fire starts in mostly remote areas. A smaller storm is expected this afternoon or evening.
The storm also sparked a 29 acre fire near Prineville. Crook County Fire and Rescue responded to the area of Johnson Creek Road yesterday evening at 5:53 p.m. Fire Department spokesman James Shannon says no homes were threatened but they did make contact with all nearby homeowners. Shannon says thanks to the help of the Oregon Department of Forestry, they we had the fire 100% contained at 29 acres after about six hours.
Fire crews in Warm Springs are reporting 17 fire starts so far. Along with the rest of Central Oregon, the Warm Springs Reservation experienced the spectacular lightning storm yesterday afternoon and evening. The 17 fire starts have been combined to one incident called the "High Cascades Complex". Fire officials say most of those fires are in the higher timber country; a few at the mid-level Ponderosa Pine and a few in the rangelands. At this point, no structures are in danger.