MADRAS, OR -- Two fires spotted northeast of Madras Tuesday afternoon have merged into one incident, now called the Emerson Fire. As of late Wednesday morning, it's estimated at 10,600 acres and its cause is under investigation.
Fire managers say crews made good progress through the evening and now have the blaze 40% contained. A Type 3 Team took command of the incident Wednesday morning, utilizing engines, dozers, ground crews and Hot Shots, along with a water tender. Aerial units are available as needed.
The Emerson Fire is burning in a mix of grass and brush on private land and the Crooked River National Grassland. No homes are threatened at this time and Highway 97 remains open, although smoke may impact visibility.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for "abundant lightning and gusty outflow winds," in effect through 11 p.m.